Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Eating Clean - Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

I have seen so many different posts floating around Tumblr and Pinterest on how to make your own almond milk, but honestly I have never been a big milk drinker so I always just scrolled past and didn't pay a great deal of attention

But then this weekend I was suddenly hit with the desire to try almond milk and seeing as I had a bunch of almonds in my cupboard  thought why not.

I didn't use a specific recipe to do this I just went with what I remembered from the posts I'd seen, so here's how I made it.

I soaked about a cup of raw almonds in a cup and a half of water overnight in the fridge.
note, in most of the recipes it says to use filtered water, but the water in Norway is pretty clean so I just used tap water.

The next morning I threw the nuts and the water into the blender.
Okay, so since going back and looking at some of the recipes I did notice that it says to replace the water with new water, which I didn't do but mine turned out fine so I figure it's not biggie, and when I do my next batch I will use clean water to see if it really does make a difference.

Then you blend it all up on a high speed.

I blended it until I couldn't really see many brown flecks from the skins.

Then I used some clean thin cotton material  to squeeze out the almond milk into a Kilner jar
Most recipes recommend using muslin or a nut bag (hehe)

Be prepared this can be a messy job, I probably should have put down a tea towel first because I had almond milk everywhere!!

Once that Is done you are left with a jar full of yummy, creamy almond milk and a cloth full of almond mush, which can be used if you want, but I just binned mine seeing as all of the nutrients are in the milk anyways.

To make mine vanilla flavoured, I used half a vanilla pod, and scraped out the seeds into the milk, before letting the pod steep in the milk, to give it an extra luscious vanillery flavour.

There are so many yummy thing you could  flavour the milk with, I want to try cardamomme, cinnamon, dates, agave and honey.


Almond milk has a TON of health benefits and it's so easy to make. 
if you want to read more about the amazingness of almond milk you could have a look at some of these great websites.

Monday, 8 April 2013

NSV - Non Scale Victories

Now let me start off by saying
  even when it shows me a number I don't like
for me stepping on the scale in the morning is the best way to get myself ready for the day. If it shows me a loss I feel fantastic, if it shows a gain, it reminds me to stay focused and to work my ass off!

However sometimes it can be incredibly gratifying to find some NSV's or non scale victories.

Like this comparison picture

When I was originally putting together this picture I did not realise just how different I looked, and while the weights aren't hugely far apart it really shows me how much my body has changed!!

another NSV has been fitting into all three pairs of jeans that my mum bought me for Christmas,
When I got them and tried them on I was gutted to realise that not one pair of them fit well, and I almost send them back but a mere two months later and they all fit perfectly!! (now they are even getting a little loose after being worn all day!)

I recently bought this dress online

In a size a lot smaller than I am today and I am hoping that this will be one of my future NSV's!!!
hopefully in time for my 25th Birthday!!

What are your latest NSV's???

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Eating Clean - Banana Muffins

I have a really sweet tooth and I often find myself giving in to sugar cravings. Which always results in me feeling terrible.

So I have been on the lookout for a good muffin recipe for a while, one which will fit into my diet plan of clean eating. Then in our farm box last week, we received around 20 small bananas which had started to go bad, because who can really eat that many bananas in a week!?
Then it came to me! The internet!! The internet must have a clean eating recipe for banana muffins, and as usual it didn't disappoint. 

This recipe is based on one I found at The Gracious Pantry but I ended up changing it quite a bit to fit to my needs.

To make these all natural, no sugar, banana breakfast muffins you will need:
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (this is only because I didn't have enough baking soda for 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggwhites
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil (although i used Vita which is a blend)
1/4 cup milk (i used lett melk, but the recipe says you can use any kind)
1/4 applesauce (I used unsweetened apple and strawberry puree and probably added a little more than 1/4)
4 ripe small bananas (the original recipe calls for 2, but mine are so small that i doubled it)

for the topping i added a seed mix called Omega Mix which is a blend of pumpkin seeds, linseed, golden linseed, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. ( i also added a little sprinkle into the mix)

To Make
 preheat the oven to 190C
mash the bananas and mix in all of the other wet ingredients
the honey, milk, applesauce, eggwhites, oil
 Then in a separate bowl sift all of the dry ingredients together.
Next add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together thoroughly.
Spoon into muffin cases (about half way full) and then sprinkle with Omega Mix (or some yummy nuts of your choice)
Pop them into the oven for 20 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean
take them out and cool!

Enjoy them for breakfast, a snack or a perfect little sweet treat with a cup of herbal tea!  

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Fitbook Review

I came across the Fitbook on Amazon a while back while looking for a food journal of some sort, and was instantly attracted to it, especially because it functions as both an exercise and food journal. oh and it comes with a super cute little pen!

"research shows that people who write down their goals are 75% more likely to achieve them. true - living a healthy, fit lifestyle takes discipline and hard work, but setting up yourself for success starts with jotting down your goals and making a realistic plan for achieving them.
introducing fitbook™ - the personalized, flexible and functional line of fitness + nutrition journals that offer a unique 12-week system to plan for success, track your progress, and reach your goals."  - visit the fitbook website

I have been using my fitbook for 6 weeks now and during that time I have lost over 10lbs, so I really wanted to share what it is like.

At the beginning of the book it gives you some sample pages to give you an idea of how to fill it in,
borrowed from amazon
Then it is time to get started yourself.
First up is setting yourself a 12 week plan, there are spaces for you to enter your current stats and your goals, and on the other side a 12 week exercise planner so you can figure out when you are going to get your workouts in.

as you can see I have not entirely filled in my plan yet as I always think of extra things as I go along.

And then you can really get going 

Each week starts off the same way with a weekly exercise and food planner on one page and a place to write down goals, rewards and notes on the next page.

I really like this feature as I am a natural born planner with lists coming out of my ears, so sitting down on Sunday evening and planning the week ahead is very satisfying.

Next you have your daily pages
an exercise log on one page
I really like that it has separate spaces for strength training and cardio and also has a little section so you can jot down anything noteworthy from the day.

and a food diary on the opposite
Probably one of my favourite features of the whole book is the nutrient tracker and recommended servings next to it. It certainly helps me keep in mind what i SHOULD be eating during the day.

At the end of the week it has a lovely little wrap up section where you can write down how well you followed your plan, you also get spaces to note down the good points from the week and the not so good, as well as a space to journal your thoughts and feelings from the week.
I especially enjoy the inspiration section on this page which helps me remember why I am working my ass off each week!

Then when you finally reach the end of your 12 weeks (mine finishes on my 25th Birthday!)
you will find this page

which lets you see how you have done compared to the goals you set yourself!

I cannot wait to reach the end of my book and I hope I will have achieved some of my Goals, I know for sure that I will 110% be purchasing another Fitbook, maybe in white this time!
and so should you!! go grab one! they are a fantastic way to reach your goals!

this review was done entirely off my own back. I am recieving no compensation from FITBOOK

Monday, 1 April 2013

Hello April

I have a feeling you are going to be a fantastic month, and I have a lot of goals to achieve while you are here, But first a look back on my March goals
they were,
 1. Work towards completing 5 cardio sessions a week and try and add in a small weights session
I still haven't managed to get 5 in a week but i am still working hard on it!
 2. Lose another 10lbs
Proudly completed

I am not 20lbs down in my Weightloss and still trucking on.

 3. Carry on with the 30 Day Shred
This I didn't do, the weather has been too nice for staying inside and working out, instead I have been hiking

 4. Make time to Read more (not fitness related but very important for keeping my stress down) 
I have been working hard on this one and while I haven't read as much as I would have liked I did start the fouth book in the Of Ice and Fire series and started a new Gillian Flynn book.
5. Keep a written food and exercise diary. I do currently use MFP but i really prefer pen and paper for keeping me accountable.
Yes! I have been using my new FITBOOK
Review coming soon.
 6. Try a new meal every week! (and blog about it!)
Yeah I had high hopes for this but honestly once I get home from work all I want to do is just throw something quick in the oven, no time for experimenting or photographing.

Now for my April Goals
1. Lose another 10lbs! 
Summer is creeping ever closer and those bikinis are calling my name
2. Change up my Cardio routines to reflect the weather
Hiking, Running outside (fear zone) Swimming along with the usual Spinning and Treadmill
3. Get back on the Yoga train
Now that I am losing weight at a fairly rapid pace, I think I need some Yoga to help avoid too much saggy skin!
4. Beat my PB on the Treadmill
Currently I am able to run for about 15 straight minutes on the Treadmill, I want to get to 20
5. Keep logging food in my FitBook and eating healthily.
Self explanatory.

I promise I am going to try super hard to not make my next post a recap of my April goals and instead attempt to actually publish a variety of posts this month!
in the meantime let me know what YOUR goals for April are?? 

How to get more out of your workouts...

invest in a heart rate monitor!

seriously this thing has completely changed the way i work out!

you  may have noticed if you follow my instagram that i have been posting a lot of pictures of my polar ft4 watch.

I purchased it at the beginning of February and instantly loved that it could show me not only my heart rate but  also calories burned while working out! 

It was perfect for spinning because it has helped me see how effective my workouts are.

I also just recently realised that it kept track of all of my workout data so i am able to see how many hours i have worked out and calories i have burned since getting it!

I am super proud of how hard I have worked so far! and I am hoping to have at least doubled the amount of sessions by the end of April!

and I am completely in LOVE with my polar watch! 
If you are thinking of getting one and you are not sure you really want to commit to buying a top of the line expensive one then this is definitely for you as it only cost me £52 which is pretty cheap compared to some of the others!

Do any of you use a heart rate monitor to improve your workouts?