Blog

Foodie Finds – July 2018

What a fab month July has been (although slightly worrying that I’m halfway through my uni summer break already). I wish this weather will never end, as everyone is in such high spirits for once (so long as you don’t mention the World cup!)

I found some different goodies this month, so I hope there is something here that takes your fancy.

1) Marmite Cashews38152756_2082056911868557_620041695261622272_n

Don’t knock these before you’ve tried them! I personally am I marmite fan, however, I know you will either love it or hate it :’). I think the marmite goes so well with the cashews making them very moreish (marmite fans be warned). Whatsmore, they also have all the benefits of Marmite as it contains B12, folic acid, and niacin.

38036784_2082056688535246_8191318574179024896_n2) Kind Bar – Dark chocolate nuts and sea salt

I picked this up from Sainsbury’s as a pre-workout snack, and it was so good! What with all the protein and energy bars out there today, this one really stands out to me, due to it’s simple and raw ingredients. Each bar contains 5.6g of protein and over half the bar is made from nuts. I’ve tried the peanut butter one which is also just as good!

3) Deliciously Ella Energy balls38227006_2082057235201858_4958439228112371712_n

You can’t get more raw than this! These energy balls only contain six ingredients and with the most part being made from dates. They also claim to be a source of copper, which is good for energy levels and so they would make a perfect pre-workout snack. The pack consists of 5g of protein which isn’t much at all, but I think the main purpose is to provide you with energy as opposed to protein. In terms of taste, they are very rich and 6 is most definitely enough!

38001549_2082057661868482_7957675853674971136_n4) Women’s best protein bites

These remind me of mini grenade bites, and so I like them a lot! I haven’t actually tried any of the women’s best range, but these were so good! They are so chocolatey, so you can get away with having a few and still feeling satisfied. To me, these are a great alternative to chocolate as they are low in sugar and high in protein and plus the packaging is so pretty :’)

 

5) Ape coconut bites38195959_2082057771868471_2795826459027963904_n

These were purchased from Boots and they are unlike anything that I’ve tried before. The best way to describe them is like a crunchy, creamy crisp! In terms of ingredients they only contain coconut, tapioca starch, and sea salt, so no nasties lurking here!

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

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Blog

My Weekly Food Shop

As Sunday is my get-sh*t-done day, I thought I would share with you what my weekly food shop looks like, so if you follow my Instagram (@jazzy_b_fit) you’ll realise just how simple it is to make the meals that I cook. As I’m a student, I try to keep the cost of things fairly low, and I’ll spend anywhere between £18-£25 per week which covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and my snacks. Typically, I do my shop in places like Aldi or Asda as you get so much more for your money. My shop this week came to £25.65, which also included some extras that I don’t usually buy. I try to do a balanced and healthy food shop full of lots of fruit and veg, and a few yummy treats of course ;).

I always plan my meals from Sunday to Sunday, as I find meal planning reduces food waste and is cost effective. This is my meal plan for the coming week:

Dinners:
Monday – Corriander-lime grilled tuna steak with avo-cucumber salsa
Tuesday – Garlic mushroom chicken quinoa
Wednesday- Spicy chickpea and quinoa bowl
Thursday – Moroccan red lentil and tomato stew
Friday – Mackerel pasta
Saturday – Leftovers
Sunday – Cashew and Chicken Stir-fry

I’ve broken my shop down into protein, fruit & veg,  snacks, and carbs.

Protein:

You won’t find any meat in this pesci’s trolley…only fish and vegan sources of protein here! The most expensive thing here is the tuna steaks at £2.99, but in comparison to meat this is so cheap, plus it contains a lot of protein. The mixed nuts are mainly for snacking on, as they are high in good fats and of course, protein.

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Veggies:

As you can see, a majority of my food shop is fruit and veg! As well as using this for lunch and dinners I will tend to snack on things like avocado on toast with chili flakes, black pepper, and salt.

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Fruit:

I think fruit is also great to snack on and makes a great addition to porridge. The lemon and limes are for flavoring up some of my mid-week dishes. This is typical of the fruit that I will buy on a weekly basis, as its relatively cheap and versatile.

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Carbs:

I will only buy grains and carbs when I need them, and this week I didn’t really need much. Although I’m looking forward to trying the edamame spaghetti which has 22g of protein per serving! I’ll use the bread as a post-workout snack with peanut butter and banana or topped with smashed avocado.

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Thank you for reading and happy Sunday-shopping,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

The Impact of Diet on Mental Health

Yes, food really does affect your mood.

When you think about what effects your mental health, the typical answers are stress, self-esteem, and relationship issues, to name but a few, however, we often underestimate the impact that food has on our mental health. When you consider the science behind it and the growing evidence that food has a greater effect on our mental health than we give credit for, I think we could all check what we are fuelling our bodies with.

There is no doubt that what we eat has an impact on our mental health, this link has been proven repeatedly. A review of studies looking into the issue of diet and mental health found that regular consumption of a Western diet (a diet consisting of highly processed and sugary foods) increased the risk of depression (O’Neil et al., 2014). Moreover, a poor diet is proven to impact biological mechanisms that are commonly associated with depression such as impacting the immune system and altering the levels of certain brain proteins potentially leading to depressive symptoms (O’Neil et al., 2014). This further strengthens the link between diet and mental health.

Moreover, some of the factors that contribute to poor mental health, such as stress, have been proven to influence food preferences. For example, a study by Kandiah, Yake, and Meyer (2006) found that when participants were not exposed to stress they made healthy dietary choices 80% of the time compared to when participants were exposed to stress, which they made healthy food choices only 33% of the time. This highlights an issue, the fact that something like stress can lead to poor mental health, yet when we experience stress we tend to eat unhealthier options, also negatively impacting our mental health. Therefore, healthier dietary choices could break this cycle as evidenced by Ansari, Adetunji, and Oskrochi (2014) who found that when fruit and vegetables weren’t consumed on a regular basis, there was a greater association with experiencing more depressive symptoms for both males and females.

Although there is little research on a diet that has been proven to reduce the likelihood of depressive symptoms and promote better mental health, there have been studies conducted on specific foods. For example, the following foods have all been linked to better mental health when in their raw form; carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens like spinach, grapefruit, lettuce, citrus fruits, fresh berries, cucumber, and kiwifruit (Brookie, Best & Conner, 2018).

I hope you found this an interesting read,

Jazzy B ❤

References:

Kandiah, J., Yake, M., & Meyer, M. (2006). Stress influences appetite and comfort food preferences in college women.  Nutrition Research, 28(1), 118-123. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2005.11.010 

Ansari, W.E, Adetunji, H., Oskrochi, R. (2014). Food and mental health: Relationship between food and perceived stress and depressive symptoms among university students in the United Kingdom. Central European Journal of Public Health, 22(2), 90-97.

O’Neil, A., Quirk, S.E., Houseden, S., Brennan, S.L., Williams, L.J., Pasco, J.A., Berk, M., & Jacka, F.N.(2014). Relationship between diet and mental health in children and adolescents: A Systematic Review. The American Journal of Public Health, 104(10).

Brookie, K.L., Best, G.I., Conner, T.S. (2018). Intake of raw fruits and vegetables is associated with better mental health than intake of processed fruits and vegetables. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(1). doi: https://doaj.org/article/956172bb66c747b1a3efbf9a4a4d9023

Blog, Dinner

Buddha Bowl

Although very appetizing, Buddha bowls can be super expensive. So I’ve created this budget-friendly bowl so you can Buddha until your heart’s content 😉

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Turmeric Bulgar wheat with raw tomatoes and cucumber, stir-fried peppers, broccoli, courgette, onions, Quorn chicken, and a side of spinach, topped with avocado, feta, and chili flakes.

Buddha bowls are all about the combination of lots of wholesome ingredients, giving you a dish with texture, colour, and flavour – and that’s what I love most about them. The main ingredients that constitute a buddha bowl include some form of protein, grains, and vegetables, but my advice is to tailor it to what you like, as you’ll enjoy it far more! It’s actually impossible to get bored of a Buddha bowl with the limitless number of flavour combos. Below are a few of my favourite bowls.

When I make these bowls, it’s always a question of how much I can actually pack in the bowl! They are a fab way to get in most of your 5-a-day and much-needed micronutrients…in fact, the whole bowl literally represents the ‘Eatwell plate’…#winning 😉

IngredientsBuddha

Grains:

  • Soya mince, brown rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa, couscous, buckwheat or barley.
  • You could also make cauliflower/broccoli rice if you wanted a lower carb option.

Protein:

  • Lentils, egg, Quorn chicken, beans (kidney beans, black beans, butter beans etc), tofu, or seafood.

Vegetables:

  • Sweet potato, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, courgette, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red onion, mushrooms, beetroot, aubergine, and sprouts…if you’re feeling festive ;).
  • Usually, some of the vegetables will be left raw such as tomatoes, cucumber, and carrots, to add to the texture.
  • Also, you could make your own veg slaw.
  • To add some sweetness to your bowl, things such as blueberries, mango, apples, and strawberries are a great choice.

Extras:IMG_3902

  • Toppings: sesame seeds, cashew nuts, feta, pumpkin seeds, croutons, parmesan flakes, olives, avocado slices, chia seeds, chives, spring onions.
  • Spices/ herbs: chili flakes, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, parsley.
  • Sauces: houmous, BBQ sauce, tahini, light mayonnaise, light salad cream, light soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sweet chili, sriracha – and there are so much more. But it also tasted just as good without the addition of these, as you can taste the flavors more.

I hope that the Buddha bowl becomes one of your weekly faves,

Jazzy B ❤

Recipies, Treats

Chai Spiced Banana Bread

Yep. It’s another banana bread recipe because I love it so much! This time, I’ve spiced it with all of the warming flavors from a chai latte such as ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

This is refined sugar-free and doesn’t use any butter also, I’ve added spelt flour which has many benefits such as stimulating the immune system and encouraging healthy digestion. What I like most about this recipe is that it’s not too sweet, unlike traditional banana bread, which allows for the spice combinations to be tasted.

IMG_3020
Chai spiced banana loaf, topped with pecans, walnut halves and a drizzle of honey.

Ingredients

Dry mix:

  • 65g oats blitzed into a flour
  • 80g of spelt flour
  • 1.5 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • 1.5 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Wet mix:

  • 2.5 very ripe bananas
  • 2.5 tbsp of honey
  • 1/3 of a cup of milk
  • 1/4 of a cup of melted coconut oil

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the banana until they form a pulp, then add the eggs, vanilla extract, coconut oil and milk
  4. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and fold together
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf tin, and top with slices from the leftover banana, and pecans and a drizzle of honey
  6. Place in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean

Tip: if the pecans start to brown too much, then place tinfoil over the loaf tin.

Nutritional Info

serves 12, per slice

  • Calories – 121
  • Carbs – 17.9
  • Fat – 4.35
  • Protein – 2.8

I hope you enjoy this autumnal take on a classic treat,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog, breakfast, Recipies

Autumnal Oats

No matter what time of year, you can guarantee I’ll be having a warming bowl of oats for breakfast. But now that autumn is here, it’s time to whack out all the spices that I associate with this colder time of year. I’ve put together a few of my favourite autumn-inspired porridge bowls,  featuring all of those classic winter combos and, hopefully, some new ones to jazz up your morning oats.

Classic Autumn Spiced oats:

Kicking it off with this porridge bowl full of all those beloved, warming autumn spices.

Ingredients:

IMG_9134
Topped with almond, cashews, and walnuts.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Nuts
  • Greek Yogurt to top

Method:

  1. Mix your preferred amount of oats with the three spices and a milk of your choice, and cook them how you normally would
  2. Top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and some nuts and you’re good to go.

Stewed Toffee Apple Oats

These oats were inspired by my favourite treat to have around this time of year – toffee apples! This is definitely my favorite out combo out of the five.

IMG_9119[1]
Served with coconut flakes, and some honey.
Ingredients:

  • Toffee Myprotein flavdrops
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oats

Method:

  1. Slice the apples into chunks, and place in a saucepan with just enough water to cover the apples
  2. Add 10-12 toffee flavdrops, and some cinnamon and leave to simmer for around 5 minutes or until the apples are soft
  3. Make your oats and top with the toffee apples, I also added some honey.

Pumpkin Pie Oats

Like the classic American Thanksgiving dessert, but in oat form. If you like pumpkin infused with lots of lovely spices, this one will be right up your street.

Ingredients:

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Served with raisins, mixed nuts, sweet freedom choc shot, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.
  •  2 tbsp Pumpkin puree
  • Chia seeds
  • 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Mixed spice
  • 1.5 – 2tbsp of maple syrup or honey
  • Milk
  • optional toppings: raisins, mixed nuts & pumpkin seeds

Method:

  1. Mix your oats with the pumpkin puree, spices, milk, honey & flavdrops
  2. Cook your oats in your usual way
  3. Serve – I recommend topping your oats with anything chocolate, as the combo of pumpkin and chocolate is delightful.

Pecan and apple porridge

Pecan-topped porridge is so good, and with the addition of the sweetness from the honey and the crisp grated apples, this porridge combo works brilliantly.

Ingredients:

IMG_9256
Topped with apple batons, pecans, coconut flakes and some honey/maple syrup.
  • One apple
  • Pecans
  • Maple syrup to serve
  • 8 Toffee flavdrops or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Grate half of the apple and place this in the bowl/saucepan along with your oats, milk, and flavdrrops
  2. Cook the oats is your preferred way
  3. Slice the other half of the apple into thin batons, and serve.

Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal:

Who says you can’t have gingerbread for brekkie? 😉 By baking these oats, it turns them into a cake-like texture…whats not to like?!

Ingredients:

IMG_9198
With Greek yoghurt, apple slices, coconut flakes, and honey.
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Mixed spice
  • vanilla extract
  • One egg
  • 1/2 a tsp of baking powder
  • 10 Toffee Flavdrops
  • Oats (I used 60g)
  • Milk (enough to cover the oats)

Method:

  1. Grease an ovenproof dish with some coconut oil, and preheat your oven to 190 degrees
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in the dish
  3. Add the egg, milk, vanilla extract and toffee drops
  4. Place the oats in the oven and bake for between 30-40 minutes (or until golden, and firm on top).

I hope you’ve found something that you want to try,

Jazzy B ❤

breakfast, Recipies

Vegan Lemon & Chia Seed Pancakes

I love having pancakes for breakfast so much, that I’ve created a vegan version of my Protein Pancakes. I’ve not yet met a person that doesn’t love pancakes for brekkie, so thought I’d share the pancake love with you all, vegan style.

 

 

Although not a vegan myself, I have nothing but admiration for those who are! Having tried a lot of vegan pancakes recipes they tend to use fancy and expensive ingredients, which is great if you’re planning to have pancakes some other day and are willing to buy the ingredients, but if you’re like me…I want them when I crave them ;). Therefore, this recipe uses very basic ingredients which you’ll probably have lying around in your kitchen anyway.

These lemon pancakes, are exactly like the classic pancake day combo of lemon and sugar, except a lot healthier and you can eat them for breakfast.

Ingredients

Serves 1, making 6 – 8 small pancakes.

  • 45g of oats (blitzed into a powder)
  • 1/2 a ripe banana, chopped
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice, plus extra for flavouring
  • Agave nectar syrup
  • 75-80ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp of Alpro Go On yoghurt
  • 1tbsp of chia/poppy seeds

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Method

  1. Blitz the oats into a powder
  2. Add all the other ingredients into the blender (adding the milk bit by bit)
  3. Pour the batter into a preheated pan with some coconut oil, as these take longer to cook than my other pancakes
  4. Stack them up, top with more Alpro yogurt, lemon juice, and drizzle agave nectar all over.

TIPS:

  • It really helps to have a good non-stick pan when making pancakes.
  • Always preheat your pan on a low heat whilst blending all the ingredients.
  • Add some coconut oil to the pan after each mini batch of pancakes.
  • Only flip the pancakes when lots of bubbles appear on the surface, and you should get perfect vegan pancakes…can you tell I’ve made these a lot?!

Nutritional Info

  • 359 calories
  • 40.7g carbs
  • 14.5g protein
  • 13.1g fat

Jazzy B ❤

 

breakfast, Recipies

Protein Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are one of my go-to breakfasts, they’re a great way to pack in your micro nutrients, and whats more they’re surprisingly filling.

I like my smoothie bowls like a mousse, there is nothing worse than a ‘sinking’ smoothie bowl where all your toppings just sink to the bottom…certainly not instaworthy ;).

However, there is a knack to making these bowls, I only use the same amount of fruit as I would eat in one sitting otherwise, what with all the toppings, they can end up a fruity calorie bomb. I would also recommend buying a protein powder that will compliment any fruit combination such as vanilla or berries and cream.

The following recipe makes one smoothie bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of fruit (frozen fruit makes it more creamy)
  • 80-140ml of your choice of milk
  • 2 tbsp of natural yogurt
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (I used berries & cream)
  • Your choice of toppings

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Method:

  1. Place the fruit, yogurt, and milk in a blender
  2. Once blended, then add the protein powder and blend for a further 30 seconds
  3. Serve and add your choice of toppings.

Nutritional Info:

  • 200 calories
  • 3g fat
  • 15.8g carbs
  • 26g protein

Jazzy B ❤