Tuesday, September 18, 2018

10 reasons to read the October 2018 UK Men's Health mag

Monohan ramen - old street (London)

Lately I've gone back to the hobbies of my youth - listening to the 80s and 90s, getting in touch with my friends from then, and reading magazines. I have to say it's made me happier and healthier. If you haven't read a men's magazine before,  guess what, some of them are actually pretty good.

The October 2018 UK Men's Health magazine was so packed with useful information that I just had to blog about it.

The thing about the magazine is that though it's aimed at men, it has a whole lot on health, nutrition and fitness. The reality is women don't just want to know about beauty and fashion. Plus it's not full of ads and trying to give my credit card a workout.

Top 10 takeaways from the October 2018 issue of Men's Health:
1. Ramen for your pre-workout. Get your GABA.
2. Panic attacks - did you know that adrenalin has a half life of three minutes? Cortisol hangs around for another 2 hours.
3. Justin Theroux in his interview says 'we all doubt ourselves whenever we set out to do anything new. But that motivates us to make it good.'
4. Andy Waugh makes this insightful observation - 'for a nation of so called foodies, it's astonishing how often people show more interest in ticking restaurants off their bucket list than in the ingredients on their plate.
5. The anti-social network - the challenges of modern male friendships. A truly great piece about loneliness. A must read!
6. Have a Berocca in the morning instead of coffee. Thank you - validates my latest habit of Berocca instead of sports drinks. It comes with me to the gym and it's so awesome.
7. Sweat - it's a good thing. Don't stress!
8. Socks - doesn't everyone want better sleep and sex?
9. Male fertility - we all should scream for icecream. Fertility is one of the big problems we dont talk about and it affects everyone whether it's you, someone you love, your friends, neighbours, kids, colleagues and celebrities. We need to start sorting it.
10. Anthony Warner while plugging his new book The Angry Chef says processed food isn't our enemy: 'We're attempting to classify food as "good" and "bad", and, in doing so, damaging our relationship with what we eat.'

And did you know that reading helps you to relax. There is something sweet about flicking through actual glossy pages, nurturing your mind and taking a time out. I highly recommend it.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Gourmet lunch at home - sweet and savoury bruscetta

Meet my gourmet lunch, sweet and savoury bruscetta, a healthy light meal that reminds me of Italy and my teens before carbs became what they are today.

Somehow we now live in a world where certain foods are akin to sin and others are our gateway to heaven.

Sugar, carbs, processed food, fast food, gluten, desserts, anything you might desire or love are now no longer guilt free.  We are doomed when we indulge. Those who are strong and exercise abstinence deserve might praise.

This era of self deprivation is the norm.
I wholeheartedly rejected this mindset today when I had this lovely bruscetta for lunch. It was made with:
1. Fig and hazelnut bread from M&S;
2. Vine ripened tomatoes;
3. Fresh Basil;
4. Crushed organic garlic;
5. Extra virgin olive oil;
6. Parsley (from a bottle); and
7. Camargue fleur de sel salt.

I also added some shredded mozarella to some of them to settle my mini pizza craving.
Sometimes we need carbs. Sometimes we need oil. And we all know about how good herbs and protein are.

Find some fancy bread, slap on some tomatoes, garlic and oil. Treat yourself to some herbs. Spoil it with some cheese. Smash it down.

Enjoy this healthy beautiful gourmet lunch! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

My secret to eating more vegetables

Cheesey corn omelette with sweet potato and kale

There are times you want to eat more vegetables and it's like there is a secret or trick that you just need to discover.

Your reasons for eating more vegetables could be any number of different reasons, including:
  • improving your health,
  • losing weight, 
  • detoxing, or
  • saving money.  

Vegetables can be the least exciting of all the food groups. It can feel challenging to eat more vegetables. Sometimes I think I'm just a big kid and I have to coax myself to do the right thing.

Here are my top seven ways to eat more vegetables:

  1. Vegetable juices - boost your spinach and celery intake with a green juice or carrot juice. It's yummy and refreshing. Apples or pears provide a great base and a teaspoon of honey makes it more palatable. Grapes and ginger are other great additions. Add lemon juice or spirulina for a bigger health kick. 
  2. Go vegetarian - if you don't have any meat or fish in the kitchen but lots of vegetables, you make the choice to eat more vegetables much easier.
  3. Soups and omelettes - love my cheese corn omelette. It's my staple ready meal! Chuck a bunch of vegetables in some water with herbs and spices to make a tasty soup. Roast them first if you want even more flavour. 
  4. Indulge - I rarely eat carbs so sometimes if I go vegetarian I can justify some rice or pasta to go with it. Do a mushroom medley if it's one veg you like. Make it the hero of your meal and add truffles too if you really want to spoil yourself.
  5. Variety - doing a mix of vegetables with different colours and textures makes eating your vegetarian meal more fun. You might roast some kale and zucchini, pan fry or boil corn and mushrooms, raw tomatoes and cucumbers then add some rocket on top. 
  6. Herbs make a great addition to make it that bit tastier. 
  7. Add your favourite dressing or try some different condiments - there are some posh lovely dressings that make it seem like you are going gourmet. 
It's also important to have the right mindset. You have to focus on the positives and see it as a treat for your body. Feel good about yourself that you are eating more vegetables and then it becomes easier to do it. 

On a good day, I might have seven servings of vegetables. Beat your own personal best and brag about it. A bit of competition can be encouraging. 

Set one day or meal a week if your goal is to eat more vegetables. Dive in and try for three days or a week. If I'm going out for dinner, I might try to do a veg based meal that day to balance the day out.

Feel proud of yourself that you are taking steps towards eating more vegetables. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Why I don't crave pizza, burgers and sweets any more

I use to be seriously addicted to pizza, burgers and sweets. Pasta was another favourite. Ten years later and these bad boys aren't foods that I crave any more.

The secret is understanding the physical and psychological needs that we have. Physically your body needs vitamins, minerals and sugar.

Burger = Iron
I realised that when I crave lasagne or a burger or a Bolognese, really I just wanted some iron. A lean piece of steak or lamb does the trick.

Pizza = calcium
When it came to pizza, that was my body not getting enough calcium. I would buy a pizza express from tesco and load it with extra cheese once upon a time. I would drool (and kind of still remember fondly) fugazzetta pizza in argentina which is a heavenly concoction you must try if you ever go. These days I have full fat cheese and milk throughout the day.

Sweets = energy and / or rest
Sweets and sugar were my energy fix. A good meal was not complete without some pudding. When we visited NYC last year, we did some major donut and cheesecake investigating. You'll also see that I've blogges about macarons, M&M world and afternoon tea. They were one of my great loves. These days, I eat a lot of fruit because it is full of nutrients and fibre. They tend to be my breakfast feast and my afternoon sweet snack. That way I can burn the sugar throughout the day. Exercise makes me want to eat more healthily. It also gives me that lovely endorphin rush that sugar used to provide. Sleep, drinking enough water and being mindful of just needing to rest also help manage energy levels. I tend to want sweets if I haven't slept enough or properly. So just making a point to get rest of sleep makes such a difference. Sugar is addictive so watching what additives are in foods and checking product labels makes a difference.

Psychologically the pizza, burgers and sweets made me feel good. They were habitual. These days I focus on a variety of fruit and vegetables, fish, whole grains like spelt and proteins such as nuts, beans and lean meat.

If I am out to dinner, I will enjoy pizza, a burger or dessert. These occasions are the exception rather than the norm.

I feel so much happier and healthier. It's amazing how being in control of your cravings can help you be more positive and empowered. I've won the battle against pizza, burgers and sweet cravings, if only I didn't have so many other bad habits to kick!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge - grace, style and beauty

I love Reese Witherspoon's story about meeting the Duchess of Cambridge. Though this was six years ago, everyone still loves Kate. She is a woman of grace, style and beauty. Today she's less about fashion and more about her three super cute children and the many worthy causes she works on.

Meanwhile, London is finally going to get it's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle balcony moment. The Queen's birthday celebrations this week on Saturday from 11am will include the newly weds.

For a look back on some hilarious misbehaving children moments on the balcony, read this article:

See how the future Queen's story has evolved -when she first got married and it was all about
The Duchess of Cambridge - fashion icon.

If you want to know more about the Queen's birthday celebrations this Saturday, read about Trooping the colour.