Leek, Mushroom & Pesto Soup

I haven’t been food shopping in a while and had some vegetables that need using up so improvised and created a new soup. As you can see, instead of bread, I dipped in some lettuce leaves which sounds depressing but was actually really good. But if that sounds a bit too healthy for you, you can always grab a toasted baguette or slice of bread.

I’ve put the ingredients and method below but if you want to add more or less of something or chuck in some other vegetables, go for it. Personally, I love garlic so added in a lot but if that doesn’t suit your taste then just skip that ingredient. Similarly, add more or less milk depending on how thick you like your soup.

Serves: 2     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large leeks
  • 250g Mushrooms
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 4 tsp Green Pesto
  • Romaine Lettuce Hearts
  • 50ml Semi-Skimmed milk (Or whatever milk you like)

Method:

  1. Slice your leeks, mushrooms and garlic cloves and boil them in a pan for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain your vegetables and put them back in the pan. Add in the milk and blend until smooth. Add more milk until you achieve the consistency you desire.
  3. Once blended, simmer on a low heat and stir in your pesto.
  4. Serve with your lettuce leaves or bread and enjoy!

Let me know if you enjoy this recipe, I will hopefully be posting a few more in the future!

If you liked this post you may also like my recipe for a Turkey Bacon and Egg Loaf.

Turkey Bacon and Egg Loaf

If you’re like me, then you have the same few breakfasts repeatedly and can get a bit bored. So this morning, I tried something new and made a turkey bacon and egg loaf. It was almost like quiche without the pastry, but with some spinach and tomatoes on the side, it kept me full all morning.

I used turkey bacon but you could chuck in whatever you fancy. I’ve also made it with chicken sausages and pork bacon and both were great! If you’re going to use sausages, pre-cook them or at least partially cook them before you make your egg bake so you don’t get food poisoning. And die.

Below are the ingredients and method; if you make this let me know what you think! If you don’t fancy spinach and tomatoes on the side you could always have beans, toast or hash browns for a quick and easy breakfast!

Serves: 1     Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • A splash of semi-skinned milk
  • 1 small red onion
  • Turkey bacon (Pork bacon works well too)
  • Spinach
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes

Method: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Slice your red onion into small chunks and put two thirds of your chopped onion in a bowl. Keep the other third to add to your spinach later.
  3. Crack your eggs into the bowl, add your milk and mix. Also add in
  4. Use scissors to slice up your bacon into the bowl and mix into the mixture.
  5. Line your baking tin with grease proof paper or grease it with a small amount of butter. Add in your mixture and cook for 15-18 minutes.
  6. Five minutes before your loaf will be ready, put a small amount of water into a frying pan and boil your onions for two minutes.
  7. Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and chuck them in, along with the spinach and cook until the water is used up and spinach has wilted.
  8. Serve up your spinach and baked loaf and enjoy!

 

 

How Do You Cope Without Carbs?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get about my weight loss from friends and family is; how do you cope without carbs? Carbohydrates are a big part of most people’s diet and are generally loved by all, myself included. Back at the beginning of 2016, I set myself a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight but wasn’t sure if I would stick to it or if it would ever work. I didn’t like my size but at the same time I was lazy and knew it would take a lot of effort to lose weight. After a few days I decided to take it seriously and try my hardest to lose a few pounds.

So I stopped eating carbs, cheese, mayo and all the other things that brought me happiness and soon enough I started seeing results. However, there are a few things that I would like to say about my approach to losing weight. Firstly, I know that my diet was extreme and would not work for everyone. I was working at my placement company at the time so I sat at a desk all day, exerting very little physical energy so I did not need as much food for fuel as other people might. I don’t think I would necessarily recommend my diet to anyone; food and exercise is personal and it’s all about finding out what is healthy and works for you.

But in regards to coping without carbs, my answer is simple. I still eat a lot. But I just changed what I was eating. Instead of filling up on bread, chips and pasta, I started piling my plate up with vegetables and meat. I’m not saying carbohydrates are bad for you, they’re not at all, they help give the body the fuel it needs to get through the day. But for me, I was overeating and my greed caused me to gain a shed ton of weight over the years.

For Breakfast I usually have a smoothie but have recently been having granola with yogurt and fruit. For lunch and dinner, I will usually have cooked meals if I am at home, with some type of meat and a mountain of vegetables. But I have taken extra steps to make sure I am being as healthy as possible; I generally avoid processed foods, salad dressings, chocolate, sweets and cheese just because my main focus at the moment is losing weight and toning up. But this isn’t to say I won’t reintroduce these again at a later date.

Sure I miss chocolate and cheese, bread and pasta but I have learnt to give myself treats every so often instead. I eat Barenaked noodles frequently instead of pasta which I find work just as well in stir-frys or spaghetti bolognaise as regular pasta and noodles. I also try and opt for leaner mince, steak with as little fat as possible and cut off the fat on my bacon. I find these little steps help along the way.

I’m not really sure how to end this post or what my final point is. I guess I wanted to show that there are many ways to lose weight and it will be different for everyone. I know some friends and family who have had great results on Slimming World and others who love Lean in 15’s meal plans. It’s all about finding what works for you and ensuring you are making the right decisions to lose weight healthily.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have any good tips to share?

If you liked this post you may also like One Year, Five Stone or My Typical Workout.

Healthy Lifestyle Update #7

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I weighed myself the other day and realised I hit my sixth bag of sugar meaning I have lost over 30kg! My current weight loss stands at four stone, twelve pounds and I’m excited to shed two more pounds so I can hit five stone!

I feel like I am back on track with my diet and gym routine now but have recently decided to make a few changes. After chatting to my housemate about my current structure of strict weekdays and weekends off, I realised I was letting my weekend get out of hand, cramming in as much unhealthy food as I could manage before going back to healthy eating on Monday. I’m worried this is really slowing the progress I could be making so I’ve decided I am going to allow myself three cheat meals over a weekend giving me room to have a nice breakfast, lunch and dinner! Hopefully this should stop me going mad and eating everything in sight.

I’ve been having loads of smoothies recently in the mornings for breakfast using bananas, smoothie-over-carbs-ben-redgellfrozen raspberries and blueberries and any other fruit I can get my hands on. I’ve also been introducing wholemeal pasta and noodles into my diet which taste exactly the same as the usual offerings. I still drink a lot of Diet Coke which probably isn’t great for me but I will face my addiction one day and cut down (but today is not that day)!

I’ve been going to the gym with my friend Liz who has shown me a load of new sets to try which focus on my arms and abs. I also asked my Dad to search the garage for the old weights we used to have which he sent down with my sisters when they came to stay so I can use them on days I don’t go to the gym.

All in all I am feeling really positive going forward and cannot wait until I can say I have lost five stone this year! I’ve been thinking about how much more weight I would like to lose before the year ends – ideally I would love to hit six stone but that might be over ambitious but I can only push forward and see where I end up!

To keep up to date with all my over-edited healthy food pictures you can head over to Instagram and find me at chinsnomore. Or if you prefer twitter, my username is also chinsnomore!

Have a great day!

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy My Typical Workout or if you’re interested in veganism head over to my friend Laura’s blog: My So Called Vegan Life

 

 

 

 

My Typical Workout

I have finally got round to signing up to the gym which I can use whilst I am in my final year at university and thought I would tell you about a typical workout. I’m excited to get back into the gym again but if any of you have advice on anything I should add in or how I could get more from my workouts I would love to hear!

I should probably begin by setting out what I hope to achieve from going to the gym. When I first signed up the guy setting my gym program asked me what my goals were and I simply said to lose weight but I realise now it goes a little bit deeper than that. I would of course like to carry on losing weight, particularly around my chest, stomach, hips (love handles really) and thighs. I also have worried in the past that I would get excess skin from losing weight so if anyone has any advice on how to prevent this then that would be great! I think losing weight at a sensible weight and doing a range of exercises and weights should help to prevent too much loose skin but if anyone is more of an expert please let me know!

I would also like to improve my strength at the gym, in particular building muscle in my arms. It sounds silly but I think I already have fairly big muscles in my legs (at least in comparison to my arms) because I was carrying around so much weight when I was a lot bigger. But there is still definitely room to improve, and I would like to lose weight on my legs and build my strength – particularly because I sprained a ligament in my knee this year and it still sometimes hurts or aches.

So with that in mind my current workout usually consists of the following:

  • Warm Up – Walking on an incline for at least ten minutes, usually increasing the steepness as more time passes. Before I came to uni I was slowly beginning to introduce running, running for one minute, then walking for two which was hard work but wasn’t as bad as expected – I was worried about how my knee would cope. I like to get up to 100 calories minimum in my warm up (I know they are only guides on the machine but it’s nice to have something tangible to measure a workout).
  • Weights – After I’ve warmed up I then used a number of weight machines, two that focused on legs and six that focused on arms. I would do 15 reps in a set and make sure I did two sets on every machine.
  • Cardio – I would normally always use the cross-trainer to get my cardio in. I like that you get into a rhythm and it wasn’t too intense on my knee. I would generally do 200 – 400 calories worth depending on the time I had.
  • Warm Down – Walking on the treadmill, beginning on an incline and slowly reducing the steepness until I am walking on flat ground at a slow pace. I would generally do around 50 to 100 calories for my warm down.

As you can see I like to measure my workouts in calories so I can have an idea of how much I have burnt. I would generally warm up for just over ten minutes, spend fifteen to twenty minutes on the weights, twenty minutes to half an hour on cardio and then ten minutes warming down. I normally always like to make sure I burn at least 400 calories in a workout with weights on top – thinking about it I have no idea how many calories doing weights burns!

I haven’t been to the gym properly now in over a month but am excited to get back into it and begin my usual routine. I think I may also get another program set to see if the trainers suggest any new machines to try! If you have any advice, comments or even good gym playlist recommendations I would love to hear from you!

Also let me know if you enjoyed this post because I may include more posts like it in the future! In the mean time you may also enjoy Five Easy Healthy Alternatives or my most recent Healthy Lifestyle Update!

Have a great day!

My Clothes Were Making Me Fat

One of the best things about losing weight has been being able to walk into a shop, see something I like and buy it. At my biggest, I could only fit into a few certain shops and so I normally always avoided shopping because I knew it was pointless.

But one thing I have struggled to change is wearing baggy clothes. I never considered myself overly self-conscious even at my biggest – sure I didn’t like the way I looked but I didn’t let it stop me from doing anything. But looking back I suppose I was and still am to an extent because of how baggy my clothes were. I always thought having clothes that clung to my fat was horrible, yet when I think about it I was the same size regardless of whether my clothes clung or not.

I recently went through my wardrobe with the help of my friend and sister and threw out about 90% of my clothes, donating the good quality clothes to charity and binning the clothes that had seen better days. Even then I had very different opinions to my friend and sister about what was too big and what should be thrown away. But I’m slowly learning that wearing baggy clothes can actually make me look bigger than what I am and some clothes should be a tighter fit. When I go shopping I can still struggle to pick the right size and usually get a friend’s opinion to make sure it isn’t too tight or too baggy.

Hopefully I’ll continue to lose weight and learn over time what suits me! I thought I would finish this post with a small comparison of the size I used to be and a photo of myself and sisters at my sister’s graduation. I know the angles are slightly different and my sister’s robe hides me a bit but I am so pleased with the progress I have made so far!