Simple Weight Loss

I put together this easy to follow infographic of how to eat for simple weight loss.

Eating for weight loss is often overcomplicated way more than it should be. In fact it doesn’t have to be complicated at all! Nail the basics, the important things in your diet first. And then if you want to, you can get picky about working on the smaller details!

Take a look:

simple weight loss

Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables fill you up using very few calories! They’re full of fibre, vitamins & minerals.

Opt for things like lettuce, rocket, tomato, onions, cucumber, celery, asparagus, kale, spinach, aubergine, mushroom, bell pepper, cabbage, broccoli.

Protein

Protein is important for muscle maintenance, growth, and repair. Plus it also fills you up, and your body burns calories through digesting it.

Preferably have lean sources of poultry, meat, fish, and dairy.

Flavour your Food

This is crucial! Bland food sucks!

Add herbs, seasonings, and spices, or low-calorie sauces.

Things like garlic, salt, pepper, soya sauce, mustard sugar-free ketchup, paprika, salsa, peri peri, basil, mint, chilli powder, oregano, etc.

Everything Else

After mostly filling up on vegetables and protein, you include whatever carbs and fats you still have room for.

Bread, rice, pasta, potato, grains, fruit, butter, nuts, oils.

Or even a little dessert, like ice cream, cake, chocolate, etc!

Something Calorie-Free to Drink

Save your calories for eating, not drinking!

Opt for things either calorie-free, or at least low in calories.

Water (still or sparkling), tea / coffee (black or with a little skimmed milk, with sweetener notsugar), squash (not juice), diet soft drinks (Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi Max etc. (not regular Coke).

Cauliflower Rice Pudding

I’ve been told I eat some strange things sometimes, so I guess that cauliflower rice pudding will be considered one of them!

“Cauliflower rice” is literally just grated cauliflower. I don’t know who came up with the idea to grate cauliflower. And to use it as a low calorie alternative to rice. But whoever it was, I consider them a genius!

So, cauliflower rice is generally used as a substitute for “normal rice” when it comes to preparing meals. Think of any dish that you would usually eat with rice. And then just replace that rice with cauliflower rice.

Examples are numerous. But say chicken tikka masala, chilli con carne, prawns and rice, steak and rice…and so on!

I just had to be different!

However, I decided to turn it up a notch! I was experimenting in the kitchen. It occurred to me that cauliflower rice didn’t necessarily have to be eaten alongside savoury dishes. Why not make it sweet?

While the cauliflower rice, when used as part of a regular meal, could be flavoured accordingly to taste like regular rice. It occurred to me that when eaten on its own, cauliflower rice had a little bit of a porridge-like texture. And this gave me the idea to sweeten it to create a sweet porridge substitute. Or, you could say I created cauliflower rice pudding!

What are the benefits of using cauliflower rice? Why not just eat regular rice?

Let me mention first that there is nothing wrong with eating regular rice! However, substituting regular rice for cauliflower rice is just such an easy way to reduce the calories you eat.

If you are trying to lose body fat, then you must be in a “calorie deficit”. This means that you must be eating less calories than the calories you burn. So using cauliflower rice fills you up. With a large reduction in calories eaten, it makes fat loss a lot easier!

Cauliflower is cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables include things like broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus too. The calories in these vegetables are “negligible calories”. By that, we mean that the calories used by the body to digest the vegetables is actually greater than the calories in the vegetables themselves! So essentially, they are calorie-free!

cauliflower rice pudding

Cauliflower and vegetables are also a great source of nutrients and fibre. You read more about the importance of fibre in my post HERE!

3 Minute Protein Cake

Make a protein cake in just 3 minutes? Sounds good, right!

It’s soft and spongy and delicious, and really low in calories!

Ingredients

The ingredients I use are:

Whey Protein (any flavour) 1-2 scoops
Baking Powder 1/2 – 1 teaspoon
Xanthan Gum 1 teaspoon
Stevia (optional)

Instructions

Place ingredients in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl.

Slowly stir in a little bit of water to get a thick paste. You won’t need much water. Keep adding just a little water at a time (you don’t want it to be runny!)

Microwave for 2 – 3 minutes until the mixture forms a spongy protein cake. Just a word of warning – you might want to microwave for a minute at a time, and keep checking the consistency of the cake after each minute. You don’t want to overcook it or it will go dry.

Nutrition

Depending on the type of whey protein you use, and how many scoops you put in, your nutritional values will vary. But I know for me, using 2 scoops, it came to:

Calories 197
Carbs 3g
Fat 3g
Protein 40g

protein cake

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Feta Cheese Chicken Breast

These taste great! Chicken Breast sliced length ways with Gherkin and Feta Cheese in the middle! Cook for about an hour. Season with paprika, parsley, sugar-free ketchup, and mustard…or your own choice of herbs and spices!

Serves 2 people.

Just a quick video here! I had these with mixed vegetables on the side, and lentils. But you could have them with rice or couscous or whatever else you fancied!

Also note that I opted for reduced-fat Feta Cheese to lower the calorie content. The condiments and herbs and spices I used were super low calorie too!

Nutritional Info

Per Feta Cheese Chicken Breast:
Calories = 214 cals
Protein = 30g
Carbs = 6g
Fats = 8g

Kuku Sabzi – I’m learning to cook!

I am learning to cook! I am always preaching to people about making their food interesting and flavourful! Too many people think healthy food = boring food, which is just not true!

I am always on the hunt for new cooking ideas. So when a friend offered to show me how to cook an Iranian dish, I jumped on the opportunity!

No please keep in mind that I wasn’t taking notes or anything, but hopefully I’ve remembered everything correctly!

Kuku Sabzi?

The Iranian dish I learnt how to cook, is Kuku Sabzi.

kuku sabzi

Preparation / cooking time approximately 30 minutes. Serves 2 people.

Ingredients

2 bunches of Parsley

1 bunch of Dill

2 tbsp of Dried Barberries (Zereshk)

1 tbsp Olive Oil (or use Low-Calorie Cooking Spray)

6 Whole eggs (or use just Egg Whites)

Half a tsp Sweetener

Salt and Pepper

1 packet of Microwavable Basmati Rice (or replace this with Mixed Veg / Cauli-Rice)

Instructions

Finely chop the Parsley and Dill.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the 6 eggs.  Mix the ingredients together in the bowl thoroughly.  Set aside for the moment.

kuku sabzi

Rinse the dried Barberries thoroughly under cold water, and remove any stones / stems. Let dry.

Lightly grease a pan with Olive Oil, and add the Sweetener.  Add the Barberries and heat on low while stirring, for approximately 10 minutes until they soften.

kuku sabzi

Tansfer the Barberries into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Grease a large pan with Olive Oil and pour the mixture from the bowl into the pan.

kuku sabzi

Cook the mixture until it is firm, flipping the mixture over so to cook both sides.

Season with Salt and Pepper and serve with Microwavable Basmati Rice.

Nutrition Stats

This meal may potentially be a little higher calorie for your liking. If so I’d suggest a light breakfast / lunch if you plan on making Kuku Sabzi! Otherwise, see the substitutions below to bring the calories down! But anyway, per serving as it is, the stats are:

Calories: 511
Protein: 22g
Carbs: 50g
Fats: 23g

Substitutions

To bring the calorie count down, you could:
– Replace the Olive Oil for Low-Calorie Cooking Spray
– Swap the Whole eggs for just Egg Whites
– Replace the Rice for Mixed Veg / Cauli-Rice.

Herbs and Spices to Liven up Your Food (and Your Health!)

Liven up your food (and your health!) with herbs and spices!  A point I’m constantly trying to hammer home, is that “healthy” food doesn’t have to be bland and boring.  Mention the phrase “healthy food”, and people’s minds immediately flood with images of plain chicken breast and broccoli.  Sure, you can have chicken and broccoli if you want to!  But flavour it, for crying out loud!

Herbs and Spices

Condiments and Herbs and Spices

There are loads of different low-calorie condiments you can use on your food, and many of these include various sauces and dressings.  But what I want to talk about here specifically, are the herbs and spices I like to use to add flavour.  In addition to improving the taste of food, many of these herbs and spice may provide additional health benefits too. 

Mint

Of the various herbs and spices I use, I really like the crisp taste mint adds to food.  And it freshens your breath too!

Herbs and Spices

Mint also contains antioxidants, which help provide your body with protection from “oxidative stress”. Oxidative stress damages the cells of the body, due to free radicals.

Mint is a source of fibre, which aids digestion.  And it also contains Vitamin A, Iron, Manganese, and Folate.

Peppermint (peppermint oil) in particular, can help with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and indigestion.  It also seems that it may help alleviate cold symptoms, improve the function of the brain, and may even help decrease the pains caused by breastfeeding (not that this last one is particularly beneficial to me lol!)

Cayenne Pepper

If you’re a fan of hot and spicy food like me, then you’ll find cayenne pepper awesome!

Herbs and Spices

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which besides giving it it’s hot flavour, it also may provide medicinal properties.

Of the herbs and spices I like, this one may boost your metabolism, may aid digestion, may lower blood pressure, and may even reduce the risk of cancer. It also may help reduce hunger too (by reducing the production of the hunger hormone Ghrelin).

Cayenne pepper is also a source of fibre, and Vitamins A, E, C, B6, K, Potassium, Manganese, and Riboflavin

Sumac

Sumac is probably my favourite herb. No word of a lie, I put sumac on just about everything!  I will even admit that on occasion I have taken a little sachet of sumac with me to restaurants too! Overly obsessive behaviour? Probably yes haha!

Herbs and Spices

Sumac provides a tangy sour flavour to food.  It is also an antioxidant, a diuretic, contains Vitamin C, and it may even help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

There are claims that it may help fight germs, help treat skin rashes, help treat joint diseases, and treat menstrual disorders.  It also may have anti-cancer properties too.

Paprika

Since I like spicy food, paprika is another one of the herbs and spices that I regularly use.

Herbs and Spices

Paprika may help with digestion and may have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  It also may lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and help with circulation.  It is an antioxidant, and contains Vitamin B, C and E.

Garlic

I don’t think I need to talk much about the flavour qualities garlic provides!  Just make sure you don’t use too much or you’ll be reeking of it all day!

Herbs and Spices

Garlic is known to have various health benefits too, supposedly lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.  It is claimed that is can prevent blood clots, fights bacteria, and may even help prevent cancer.  Garlic also contains Vitamins B6 and C, Selenium, and Manganese,

Oregano

Herbs and Spices

I really like the fresh taste of Oregano.  It is an antioxidant, and may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.  As well as being a source of fibre, it contains Vitamins K, A, C, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, and Calcium.

Ginger

Herbs and Spices

Ginger may help with digestion, and may help alleviate nausea.  It is an antioxidant, and also may have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.  There are also claims that it can lower cholesterol, improve circulation, ease menstrual cramps, and even fight cancer.  Ginger also contains Vitamin B6, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, and Potassium,

Basil

Herbs and Spices

Basil provides a great flavour!  Plus, it is a source of Vitamins A and K, Iron, and Calcium.  It may have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities too.

Cinnamon

I really like using cinnamon with a lot of my food!  I put it on my protein pancakes, in my protein shakes, and on my quark too.

Herbs and Spices

There are claims that it can help with relieving nausea and aids digestion.  It is a source of Iron, Calcium, and fibre too. It may have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and it can act as a glucose disposal agent.

Parsley

Parsley has an awesome fresh taste that can also help freshen your breath (if you’ve been having lots of garlic, you’ll probably need it!).

Herbs and Spices

It is a source of Vitamins K, A, and C, and may reduce blood sugar levels.  There are claims that it may have anti-cancer properties and may improve kidney function.

I just like them!

It must be emphasised that I don’t use any of the above-mentioned herbs and spices for their claimed health benefits.  I just like the flavours and taste that they add to my food!  But if they do happen to provide any additional health benefits too, it is an added bonus that I am happy to take!  Flavour your food, guys, and say goodbye to bland boring meals!

herbs and spices

Cheese Salad in One Minute

This cheese salad took me just one minute to make! I was in a hurry, and wanted a quick low-calorie dose of protein and fibre.

Is it strange that I like ketchup on my cheese salad lol? (I use sugar-free, salt-free ketchup, of course!)

I used 50g of grated Eat Lean Cheese (Protein Cheese) and a bag of ready-to-eat shredded lettuce.

The 50g of Protein Cheese came to 84 calories (18.5g Protein, 0.2g Carbs, and 1.5g Fat).

I didn’t bother counting the calories from the lettuce or the sugar-free ketchup, as they are negligible.

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Slim Pasta / Slim Rice

I’ve been asked my opinions of Slim Rice and Slim Pasta.  But I had yet to try it myself.  So I thought I’d give it a go!

Check it out!

I’ll be honest, I’m not too sure about this!  Slim Pasta / Slim Rice are both a bit chewy and very very bland!

slim pasta rice

I can see it filling you up though.  So it definitely could be a helpful tool for weight loss!  Especially since it is literally only made of fibre, with no carbs, and each 100g serving has a puny 9 calories!

You can always flavour it with some low-calorie options:

e.g. sugar-free salt-free ketchup, low-calorie BBQ sauce, light mayonnaise, mustard, low-salt soya sauce, low-calorie salsa, herbs and spices…

or even carefully chosen supermarket ready-sauces, as long as you opt for the low-calorie ones!

slim pasta rice

Or of course, you could just eat vegetables and fill up on those instead haha.  Whatever!  I guess maybe if you really didn’t like vegetables, or were just looking for a change, then the additional cost of Slim Pasta / Slim Rice could be justified!

Try it yourself and let me know what you think!

Lo Dough – first time giving it a try. I make low calorie pizza!

Lo Dough – first time giving it a try. I make low calorie pizza!

So I’d seen this Lo Dough stuff advertised online.  Figured why not give it a go!

It’s a little pricey to be honest, but at 39 calories and 2.2g of carbs per serving it seemed too good to be true!

In this video I had a try making pizza with it.  It wasn’t bad at all!  I used other low calorie ingredients like Lean Protein Cheese and sugar / salt free ketchup too.

lo dough

lo dough

Too much fat on your food? Boil it first!

Too much fat on your food? Boil it first!

Boiling food before cooking, is a little simple trick I use when trying to keep my calories down!

This also helps with food that is particularly salty when I want to lower the sodium content.

In this video you see me boiling some beef burgers, rinsing off the excess fat and salt, before grilling them as you normally would.  I still grill them so to give that same burger taste and texture.  Also note that these are decent quality burgers from the butchers, so they are already fairly lean, and not just the cheap crappy processed meat you can get!

 

I’m not a fan of lamb, generally speaking, but when I do have lamb I will normally boil it first too.

 

Give it a go!  Watch the video below!

 

 

calories