Friday, 22 April 2011

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

'What have you got to hide, Nigella?'?!

I wasn't very happy to read this article about Nigella Lawson today. Why must a woman be ridiculed just for covering up? If she wishes to cover up at the beach for whatever reason whether for modesty or to protect against sunburn, then what's the problem? Does a woman have to wear a string bikini at a beach in order to gain respect? I'm sure the media would still poke fun at her if she wore a bikini.

I'm not saying it's a pretty thing to wear but I personally believe that Nigella Lawson is a respectful and talented woman and I praise her for having the guts to dress this way.

What do you think?


Monday, 18 April 2011

Know your food labels and help reduce waste

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has claimed that they will be working with the food industry to make food labels easier to understand. It is believed that chucking out food that is past its Best Before date but not its Use By date is costing Britain billions of pound. This is because consumers may not be aware that food may still be safe to eat after the Best Before date so they throw it into the bin. Bread, for example, may not taste fresh after its Best Before date but up until its Use By date it can be used to make breadcrumbs, croutons or puddings.

There won't be any changes to the laws and regulations but simply guidance for food manufacturers and retailers to help their customers understand the labelling more clearly. Read more about it here.

What do you think about this? Will it help reduce waste? Do you use up food past their Best Before dates?


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Rachel's review

Rachel's is one of my favourite food brands. Not only are their products very tasty but as they are organic I trust that their ingredients are natural and that the cows that produce the milk and well looked after and fed well.

Rachel's kindly sent me a HUGE box of goodies a while back for a competition I won and this is what was inside. (Click on the pic to enlarge)

As you can see it's a variety of their desserts which included 8 pots of yogurt and 2 pots of rice pudding.

The Greek Style yogurts are very rich and creamy. I've never tasted Greek style yogurt this creamy before. In fact it's so rich that I woudn't recommend swallowing lots of it in one go.

I like to try different ways with the plain Greek Style yogurt. It works well with a combination of fresh fruit, chopped nuts and honey.

The honey flavoured one tastes exactly like the plain one mixed entirely with honey. I love greek style yogurt with honey but I much prefer topping plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey rather than stirring it in completely. Nonetheless it tastes absolutely gorgeous and makes a great dessert.

I love how the texture of the coconut in the coconut yogurt was like fresh coconuts rather than desiccated. I think that one would have to be my favourite out of the three Greek Style yogurts.

The fruit yogurts are all very tasty. The fat-free blackcurrant one has a vibrant purple colour and has pips in it. It has the slightly dry texture of real blackcurrants but the fruity flavour is mouthwatering. It's limited edition so get it while you can!

The mango, pineapple and passion fruit one is my favourite out of the fruit yogurts. As the low-fat yogurts are much thinner than the Greek Style yogurts, the fresh and juicy fruit pieces give it some extra texture.

I was curious about the rhubarb and the gooseberry yogurts as I assumed that they'd be very sour but they only had a little sour kick and tasted yummy.

I've saved the best till last. Let me tell you, Rachel's make the best rice pudding I have ever had. The texture is rich and creamy and the flavour is perfect. The only problem with their rice pudding is that everyone at home loves them so they don't last very long in the fridge!

I can't wait to try more of their products!

Have you tried any of their range? If so, what do you think of it?


Saturday, 16 April 2011

French Onion Soup

I absolutely love soup. It is cheap and easy to make and very good for you. I never buy any of the canned or powered varieties because of the strange ingredients they contain. I only rarely purchase New Covent Garden soup and the rest of the time I make it instead.

One of my favourites is French Onion soup. It tastes soooo good, it's warming and it's souper easy to make (see what I did there? ;) )

Cooking time 90 mins      Calories 95 per serving (approx. Not including optional ingredients)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 beef or vegetable stock cubes (I use Kallo stock cubes because they're all natural and organic)
  • Half tsp sugar
  • Quarter tsp salt
  • Half tsp black pepper
  • 4-8 slices of garlic bread or buttered French stick (optional)
  • Grated cheese (as much as you like) (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat
  2. Add the onions, crushed garlic and sugar then lower the gas to a low heat
  3. Leave for 30 mins, stirring occasionally
  4. Add the stock cubes and 900ml hot water and stir until the stock cubes are dissolved
  5. Add the salt and pepper
  6. Increase the heat to high until it boils then cover and leave to simmer over a low heat for 1 hour

  1. Preheat the oven at gas mark 5
  2. Ladle the soup into bowls
  3. Top with garlic bread or buttered bread
  4. Sprinkle with cheese
  5. Leave in the oven for about 2 mins or until the cheese begins to bubble



Some of my favourite Youtube MUA's



Shop for natural and safe cosmetics at Love Lula.


Monday, 11 April 2011

Thank you Glamour!

I was very surprised to find out that Glamour (US) have written an article titled The Hidden Things Messing Up Your Health talking about the dangers of chemicals contained in many products including cosmetics (read here). As a magazine dependent on cosmetics brands as well as others to advertise in their magazine this was a risky post. This is what writing should be all about. About promoting the truth. So well done, Glamour, and thank you for your responsible article. I hope that this is only the first step and that other magazines follow suit.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Simple and delicious grilled chicken

Grilling food is one of the healthiest ways to cook as you need very little oil. A great thing about grilling chicken is that you can also flavour it as you wish. Add whatever you like plus a little olive oil and shove it into the grill.

This is the chicken I made today. I know some of the onion is burned lol. I made the recipe as I went along. It's very simple.

1) Preheat the grill. My grill only has one setting so if you are using an electric grill make sure the temperature is medium. You don't want the temperature too high otherwise the outside would be golden but the inside wouldn't be completely cooked.

2) After washing the chicken (I used chicken thighs but you can use whatever) place them into a roasting tray and using a sharp knife, make small slits into the chicken so that it will absorb the flavours.

3) Add: salt, pepper, malt vinegar, juice of half a lemon, about a tablespoon of rosemary and half an onion.

4) Flip the chicken over and make sure that it is completely coated in the dressing.

5) Place the pan into the grill or if you are using an electric oven simply place each chicken and the onion onto the grill.

6) After 10 mins, turn the chicken over.

7) After another 10 mins the chicken should be golden and the onion should have browned. If not, leave it to cook for at least 5 mins.

8) Serve and enjoy

You can serve this in wholegrain pitta with hummus and plenty of salad but since I used chicken thighs I had rice instead. Wholegrain rice is much better but my mother cooked white rice :( It had spices and tomato in it and tasted lovely. I'll ask her for the recipe and share it with you sometime.

I made a juicy tomato salad to serve with it. Just salt, a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dried mint.

A good diet tip is to put your food into a small plate or bowl to give the illusion that it is really full of food so that's what I did. It looks a lot but it really wasn't. It was filling though.

Bon appetit!


I want!

How gorgeous is this juicer...

The Easy Health Angel Juicer

It's 24K gold plated and costs almost £3000! A bit much for a juicer :(

They do have stainless steel versions though with the same benefits such as removing 90% of the pesticides from fruit and getting much more nutrients out of the fruit and vegetables than most other juicers. They can also be used to make raw milk and nut butters. But even in stainless steal they cost hundreds of pounds :(


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Why I'm dieting without diet food

After months in hibernation with plenty of pies and mash to keep me warm and not so s.a.d., I have no more excuses for not exercising and eating properly. I have honestly not been to the gym since September and other than walking to the shops, I don't get much exercise. Not good, I know! But now the sun is out (well, for now it is) I feel more energetic.

I have been yo-yo dieting most of my life. It's always the same. I diet during the summer then when the stooopid winter comes along, I get s.a.d. so I stay indoors and eat a lot basically. Thankfully (?), I got the flu last winter so I spent a few days not eating much and I lost some weight. My diets weren't very healthy and involved low fat processed food and drinks. It was only last year that I became more aware of what I put into my body and the dangers of the so-called diet foods.

So what is wrong with processed 'diet food'? Well once you remove sugar and fat from a product, it doesn't taste very nice and won't sell well. So what is a food manufacturing company to do? Put in whatever low calorie/ low fat ingredient they can to give the product a better taste and texture. Whether it's an artificial sweetener, flavouring or a thickener, if it gives the product taste and texture, they will put it in. I mean check out the ingredients in this low fat yogurt...

"Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Peaches, Modified Cornstarch, Nonfat Milk, Kosher Gelatin, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Aspartame, Potassium Sorbate Added to Maintain Freshness, Colored with Annatto Extract, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3."

Doesn't sound very appetising. Look, it even contains High Fructose Corn Syrup! Definitely not what you need to lose weight.

"...high fructose corn syrup, which can be found in every kind of food, from sodas to yogurt to pretzels, is an obesogen. The ubiquitous, viscous sweet stuff makes your liver insulin resistant and tampers with leptin to increase your hunger, setting up a vicious cycle where you crave more food that is then more easily turned into fat."

A much healthier and tastier option is simply natural yogurt with fresh fruit of your choice. Add a little drizzle of honey and throw in some chopped nuts too if you like.

Another problem with convenience diet food, especially ready made meals, is the containers. Many plastics contain BPA which can leach into food especially when it's heated. BPA is an obestrogen, which work by...

"increasing the fat cells you have,
decreasing the calories you burn,
altering the way your body manages hunger"

So those low fat/ low calorie ready meals are not so healthy at all. BPA is also used to line many cans such as for tuna and canned soup.

There is an interesting study that may suggest that not all calories are equal and that calories from processed food take longer to burn than from real natural food (read about it here). So those low calories snacks? You're probably better off with a small helping of tasty organic frozen yogurt worth a few more calories.

So what other reasons are there to eat real natural food instead of processed diet food? They are nutritious and much more filling. It might require planning and preparing meals but I personally think that is one of the great things about it. Not only will you save money but you would know exactly what is in your food.

So this is why I choose to lose weight the natural way. I'll keep you updated with more tips, recipes and also restaurant reviews to help you lose weight naturally too. But of course I won't be just improving my diet. I'll be exercising too so expect some fitness reads too.