Making Whey Work: The Benefits of Whey Protein

Those who work out regularly or who are trying to lose weight often take supplements to ensure they get the nutrients their body needs. Protein supplements are regularly used by athletes to build muscle but can also help you to lose weight, cope with stress and improve your immune system.

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If you’re considering incorporating whey protein powder into your diet then here are a few helpful points for the uninitiated.

Staying healthy while working out

We all like to stay fit and healthy, and working out has for many of us become part of our daily routine. But exercising means we need to ensure that we ingest the right foods to help our muscles recover after that intense workout. Getting enough protein not only helps to build muscles but also ensures those same muscles receives the nutrients they need after a workout. A whey protein powder supplement such as a milk shake will also boost your metabolism, which makes it a lot easier to lose weight, if that’s your goal. (more…)

Red Wine (Velvet) Cupcakes

We can’t be healthy ALL the time so in celebration of that fact and my new kitchen (it’s finally done – hoorah!) I got in to the kitchen to make some cupcakes.

red wine velvet cupcakes

I’ve got to tell you, that Sainsbury thankfully sent me a bottle of red wine from their So Organic range to celebrate September being Organic Month (yes, I know, I’m a bit late). Red wine (and chocolate) are two things that are way better organic. The wine is much heartier, it’s also less likely to give you a stinking hangover. (more…)

Live, work & eat better #5

So I forgot to actually upload and publish this last week! Don’t ask me how but somehow I seemed to sleepwalk through the back end of the week. Anyway here are a few links to kick off your hopefully relaxing weekend…
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LIVE

This is a really interesting piece in the New York Times about Alan Cummings. I can’t wait to read his book.

I’m obsessed with avocados so I shared my recipe for this homemade face Mask on Maison Du Vann

This is a fascinating look at the motive behind Helene Pastor’s murder.

Here’s what to do when you’re feeling small. Reframe your power. By Danielle LaPorte

We all have our own way of dealing with trolls but this woman has it sorted…

So Mercury is now in full retrograde. Why not check out this post from Gala Darling.

WORK

Wouldn’t it be great if being a brilliant artist was all it took to earn a living?

EAT

This weekend I’m making Red Wine (velvet) cake so for balance, here’s how to bake the perfect flourless cake.

Think you can’t eat pasta and still lose weight? Wrong. Try this simple trick.

If you’re a fan of fast food then you may find THIS interesting. The Food Babe has looked at the difference between UK and US fast food outlets. Amazing finds. In the US french fries are basically a chemical shit storm, where are in the UK it’s essentially potato and oil. Take a look.

Italian Apple Cake from A Cup of Jo

3.5 Bean Chilli

There are five amazing things about this bean chilli…
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1. It’s quick! (and I’m all about quick and easy)
2. It’s healthy
3. It’s cheap to make
4. There’s enough left to freeze!
5. It tastes amazing!!!!!!

Now, unless you’re feeding an army there’s probably not much chance you’ll work your way through this entire bean chilli but you could do what I do and either a) freeze it or b) make several meals from it. If you choose the latter then it’s great to mix with pasta as a protein boost for pasta bake.

So what you’ll need…

A giant pan
A tin of red kidney beans
A tin of rosecoco Beans
A tin of black eyed beans
A small tin of baked beans
A tin of tomatoes
Tomato paste
A red onion
Mushrooms
Red wine (a glass for you and a glass for the chilli)
Chilli Powder
Dark Chocolate

I use tinned beans because a) they’re cooked so it takes less time b) you can usually buy 3tins for £1 in Asda. However,if you use dried beans don’t forget they need soaking the night before and extra cooking time.

Method…
Start off by chopping the onion – I’ll let you decide how, I like semi small chunks. Add to some hot oil and fry over a medium heat until soft. Next add your mushrooms.

As per usual with my recipes, next you just need to bung everything (but the chocolate) else in, so add give it a good mix. Bring to the boil and add the chocolate towards the end of cooking. I’ve not given an indication of the chilli powder as it’s probably best you determine your own level of chilli.

And you’re done. Serve with rice, a jacket potato or with sweet potato mash – whatever you prefer.

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Foods you don’t need to buy organic…

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really worried that much about whether I buy organic or not. So long as I was getting my daily quota of fruit and veg in and they haven’t travelled half way across the world to my plate – I was happy. However, the past 6 months, I’ve been making a huge effort to buy organic as much as I possibly can.

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It’s funny because whenever the word organic is bandied about we immediately think – expensive. Yet we think nothing to upgrading our phones to the latest model or going on nice holidays or even putting an extra £20 of fuel in our car. Maybe spending a few extra £’s on apples is a better way to spend our money? Giving our own bodies better fuel? Not to mention the fact we live in this toxic environment: pollution, mobiles attached to our ears all day, wi-fi signals whizzing around us – maybe that £3 organic apple could help negate some of the toxicity we are taking in elsewhere?

But it’s good to know that there are certain foods that you don’t really need to buy organic.  Dr Andrew Weil has published a great list on his website – of 12 foods you really don’t need to buy organic…

  • Broccoli
  • Aubergine
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweetcorn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion

And here are 4 more foods to add to that list:
Mushrooms
Sweet Potatoes
Watermelon
Grapefruit

But on the flip side, there are two great reasons to buy organic: fewer pesticides and more nutrients. Here are 15 foods that you REALLY need to buy organic (no exceptions).

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines
  • Celery
  • Pears
  • Lettuce
  • Cherries
  • Spinach
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

Do you buy organic? Is there a reason why you do/don’t? Share your views below…

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live, work & eat better on a Friday #4

What are you planning on doing this weekend? My kitchen should be finished by Sunday so I’m planning on a full day of baking cakes – not so good for the diet. Anyway, here are just a few links from across the web that I think you’ll enjoy x

Sorting out all the new bills #admin #coffee

Live

Is Mercury in Retrograde? Check here.

Anthony Bourdain has some good tips on Travel

Found a new blog that I absolutely LOVE this week. Becca from Bionic Buddha has a plethora of posts on living well. Including some sage advice on how to not lose your shit!

These black eyed children sightings are a bit weird aren’t they?

I love these musings by Slim Paley

 

Work

Want to make money from your personal blog? Then have a read of this > Why Personal Blogs Can Never Really Survive Monetization

Do bloggers make more money than editors?

This new book has a great quote on procrastination…

Also, I feel like the word “procrastination” is too strong. Just because you’re on Twitter saying stuff, it doesn’t really mean you’re procrastinating. The status update has become such a fluid part of culture.

Eat

I believe that you can eat extremely well on a budget, it’s just all down planning and savvy shopping. In MY opinion the problem lies with people not having the skills to cook and budget for healthy foods. I’d love to know what you think of this story.

Madeline Shaw has some great tips on eating healthy this Autumn

And in vast contrast, I cannot wait to try out this recipe for red wine cake!

Have a good one x

Oh! ps: I’m taking part in Gala Darling’s #LOVETOBER challenge so why not follow me on Instagram?

A quick tip: How to avoid lipstick on your wine glass…

OK so I know some of you are doing #stoptober so in advance – I’m sorry. But since the nights are drawing in and it’s getting time to start snuggling by the fire with a large glass of red – I thought it was a good time to share this tip…

I saw this tip yonks ago on acupofjo

If you want to avoid getting lipstick on your wine glass (which lets face it, is gross) then simply lick the edge of your glass (quickly and discreetly of course – I’m not suggesting you go to town on it) before you take a sip.

And voila – a stain free glass.

Cage Free Eggs & A Roasted Chilli Frittata

Those who know me, know I have an “issue” with eggs. I can taste a cheap egg a mile away. I only eat eggs that are from chickens who are allowed to roam free. It’s not just an ethical thing but a taste thing too. You know when you’re eating cheap eggs, they’re – quite frankly – disgusting.

And its not just the eggs you buy off the shelf that you need to consider either. Its also the eggs that are used in ingredients. Sainsbury went cage free in 2012 meaning that all eggs used in their ingredients or in their cafe are cage free. Great, right?

Take a peek at this great little video from Sainsbury and then scroll down for THE best Frittata recipe…

ROASTED CHILLI FRITTATA

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This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and one of my go to’s…

INGREDIENTS

• 4 chillies — a mixture of green, red and yellow

• 1 red or green pepper

• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

• Olive oil

• 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped

• A knob of butter

• 5 eggs

• A handful of grated parmesan

• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

• 100g goat’s cheese or feta

1. Preheat your oven to full whack. Prick each of your chillies and pepper with a small sharp knife then blacken over a gas flame, in a dry griddle pan or under a grill. Once they’re nicely charred, pop them in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. After 10 minutes, remove the skin, stalks and seeds, then delicately tear lengthways into thin strips. Put these back in the bowl and marinate in red wine vinegar, a lug of olive oil and the parsley stalks.

2. Heat olive oil and some butter in a small ovenproof frying pan, then add half of your marinated chillies and the garlic. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with some grated parmesan and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Put a few of your parsley leaves to one side, then finely chop the rest and add them to the eggs.

3. Pour the eggs into the pan then crumble in half of the goat’s cheese. Move the pan around a bit to spread everything around. When the egg is just starting to set, crumble most of the remaining goat’s cheese over, then pop the frittata in a hot oven for 5 minutes or until it doubles in size. Some people cook their frittatas all the way through, but I prefer mine only just done. Once it’s out of the oven, delicately drape the rest of your marinated chilli strips over the top, crumble over the last few bits of goat’s cheese, then drizzle over a little of the chilli marinade. Sprinkle with the reserved parsley and serve with something fresh and lovely, like a rocket, lemon and parmesan salad.

Enjoy x

live, work & eat better – on a Friday #3

Live, work & eat better on a Friday is going to be a short one this week. After trying desperately hard to catch up on my week away, I’ve not had chance to do as much perusing of the internet as normal. But as always, if you’ve any links you wish to share, please do so in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check them out :D

So on with what’s caught my eye this week…

WELL after 3 months of sleeping downstairs in our new home we FINALLY have a bedroom. I spotted these cool little bedside lamps for £10 in TK Maxx – what do you think?

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LOVE this from Brit&Co – 16 Shockingly Healthy Recipe Hacks

Sarah Wilson blogs about her latest health obsession

THIS made me laugh

My new favourite grab ‘n’ go snack. The granola and strawberry are gorgeous!!

Nutella with no guilt? Yes please.

Seriously, it’s time to DITCH THE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS!

Feel confident in TWO minutes…

And of course, I couldn’t possibly end this post without a little nod to Jason Orange. Seriously, we all know how much of a fan I am of TT so I am gutted that Mr Orange is leaving the band. Whose going to be busting those funky moves when they go on tour now? For those who think Jason was nothing but a backing dancer just take a listen to this…

Tips on designing the perfect kitchen on a budget…

kitchen-on-a-budget

Well I’m back from a lovely week in Majorca (posts to follow this week!) and even more exciting is that I am FINALLY getting my new kitchen installed at the end of the week. That’s right, no more relying on the microwave, toaster and electric wok. I can’t believe how genuinely excited I am to be getting an oven!!

So, I’ve been chatting with the wonderful team at Wren Kitchens and have put together some top tips on designing the PERFECT kitchen whilst on a budget…

Having limited funds really doesn’t mean that you can’t have the kitchen of your dreams. Trust me when I say that we’ve been on a pretty tight budget when it comes to doing up the house but with a bit of savvy shopping and attention to detail we’ve managed to get just what we were looking for.

Keep it simple…One of the things I love most about the kitchens at Wren are that they are relatively simple. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have the option to have all the bells and whistles but they understand that symmetry and simplicity are key. Remember the when it comes to designing a kitchen on a budget that over designing is one sure fire way to over spend. 

Shop around for your appliances…You don’t have to buy your appliances from the company that you’re buying your kitchen from. That doesn’t mean that they can’t do you a great deal but before you sign on the dotted line, do make sure that you check around. Your choice of brand can make a huge difference too, whilst you may like the top of the range items – do check the lesser known brands as they can often be just as good. Also, it’s worth just getting basic white goods so that you can cover them with units – that way they seamlessly blend in.

When it comes to appliances – think about the future…It’s not just the initial purchase of your appliances you need to consider. The energy rating is also another factor to take in to account. You need to look at just how efficient they are to run. There’s no point in going cheap and then finding that your energy bills are hiked up for the lifetime of running the appliance.

Make sure you find a good fitter…Our kitchen designer imparted one of the wisest nuggets of information when he was measuring up – a bad fitter can make a £10,000 kitchen look like it’s worth £1,000 and a good fitter can make a £1,000 kitchen look like it’s worth £10,000. 

A sneaky design trick…If you want your design to look expensive then one trick to use is to fit the plinth (that piece of wood the floor units sit on) as far back as possible – this will make your joinery look way more expensive – perfect if it’s a budget kitchen.

Forget the insides – it’s the outside that counts…OK so usually it’s what’s on the inside that counts but when it comes to kitchens forget the expensive carcasses and instead spend your money on nicer doors and drawers.

Worktops…this is another area where you should consider spending a little more. Your worktops are not only one of the most visible aspects of your kitchen but they’re also one of the most used. Cheaper worktops won’t look as nice and they are likely to get marked easier. Honed granite is cost effective whilst still being chic and durable.

Taps and Handles…These can be costly. I have to admit, I had no idea that people could spend so much money on a tap. However, before you blow 50% of your budget on taps and handles think about whether you can save by shopping around or even having them integrated (the handles that is).

Now we’re lucky because we are starting from a blank slate. We can move things around etc but if you’re updating your kitchen then do remember to factor in costs such having gas and plumbing moved, tiling etc

But with a bit of careful planning then you can have your dream kitchen on a budget.

Do you have any tips for buying a kitchen on a budget? If so share in the comments below.

 

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