I’ve recently become so obsessed with using pasta alternatives such as edamame or black bean spaghetti! I prefer it to whole wheat spaghetti, as it actually offers nutritional benefits such as 22g of protein per 50g (amazing!) plus it’s also lower in carbohydrates, with only 16g per 100g. Also, it is gluten-free, vegan, and a great source of fiber! Basically, I have come to love the stuff and so I really wanted to share a yummy recipe with you all so you could give it a go too!
This dish is one of my absolute favourites to make because it is quick, simple, and budget-friendly. You can find the pasta alternative in most supermarkets such as Aldi and Tesco, if not you can buy it online from Holland & Barrett.
Edamame or black bean spaghetti
Tinned mackerel in tomato sauce
Red or white onions (diced)
In a frying pan sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the fresh tomatoes and fry for a further two minutes
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti (this cooks very quickly, and so it should only take between 5-8 minutes
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to to the frying pan
turn the heat down to a lower setting, and add all other remaining ingredients and spices
Serve and enjoy!
(I also added mushrooms and mangetout to my dish!)
319 calories (per serving, sharing the mackerel between two dishes)
You can also add any other veggies to this dish such as broccoli or top the dish with avocado, which also works really well. I hope you enjoy this healthy pasta dish,
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think we have all experienced a time where motivation levels reach an all-time low. A lack of motivation can make you feel so far from your goals, but this is most certainly not the case and a simple change in your outlook can help almost immediately. Hopefully, this post will help you to get out of a motivation rut, and back to feeling unstoppable.
It is okay to feel unmotivated. I think when people feel unmotivated they fixate on this rather than the solution, or cause, but change how you choose to view your lack of motivation can easily overcome this feeling. Try and think if there is anything that might be directly affecting your level of motivation e.g, work stress, life changes, tiredness, no matter how big or small, any reason is valid. However, it may also be the case that you can’t think of anything that is negatively affecting your motivational drive, and again this is fine – motivation is not constant, and thank goodness not too, as we’d all be exhausted! It may be the last thing you want to do to try and rebuild your motivation, but to have a break from the gym, and thinking about fitness/goals can be the best thing. This time out will allow for you to feel refreshed, and ready to smash some fitness goals!
2) Change your workout routine
Often, when we get settled into a fitness routine, it is very easy to become complacent. Ironically, comfort zones can be dangerous places! If you’re doing the same workouts day, in day out, it is inevitable that your motivation will decrease. Not only will this cause mental complacency, but your body will stop responding the way it used to, as it also becomes used to the same routine. You will notice the benefits of mixing up your workouts as the body responds best when it is challenged. There are so many ways to change the way you workout such as training with a friend, trying a new workout, even changing the time you normally train can make a difference.
3) Setting realistic goals
Having a goal to work towards increases my motivation so much! Make the goal specific to you, and really focus on achieving this. The goal can be anything from a new personal best, to simply going to the gym a certain amount of times in a week. It is also important that the goals you set are achievable whilst still have an element of challenge to them. Fitness journals are a great way to record your progress, goals, and achievements, as it can be so easy to forget how far we’ve come!
4) Reward yourself
Closely related to setting goals is rewarding yourself when you achieve them! All work and no play is most definitely not fun, so when you reach a goal, give yourself a reward. My reward always seems to be new gym leggings, you can never have enough :’)
4) Take it back to the beginning
What made you start your fitness journey? How motivated did you feel when you first started getting into fitness? It’s about rekindling that initial drive that got you started and reminding yourself exactly why you do what you do. For me, I always try and be the best version of myself that I can, when I workout it’s a celebration of what my body can do!
Thank you for reading, and I hope this post has helped you in some way,
My foodie find for February, 2018! This month sees lots of goodies (mainly cookies and biscuits :’) ). I hope you enjoy ❤
1) Weetabix Protein
If you’re a fitness freak who loves their Weetabix, then this is the one for you! The taste is exactly the same, but with added wheat protein making achieving those macros a lot easier. This tastes great with blueberries, banana, and peanut butter. Also, unlike a lot of cereals, this one is very low in sugar.
2) Alpen Jaffa Cake bars
Jaffa cakes have always been my weakness …apparently, I used to hide boxes of them under my bed as a child, like a dirty little Jaffa secret! :’D. But Jaffa cakes and fitness certainly don’t go hand-in-hand, so I was very pleased when I discovered these. They’re only 70 calories per bar and actually taste like Jaffa Cakes.
3) Aldi Brown Lentil Supermix
I actually only picked this up as an alternative to Quorn mince, but really enjoyed it! It contains brown lentils, peppers, red onion, and tomato. It’s such a versatile product and can be added to any dish to up the micronutrients and the protein. Also, I love the fact that its pre-flavoured, making meal times that bit easier. I used this to flavour up my Buddha bowl, but I think this would also taste amazing in a wrap, too!
4) Siro Sugar-Free Biscuits
These are like guilt-free hobnobs, what is not to like? Don’t let the fact that they are sugar free put you off…they are so moreish and make a great sweet treat. Also, I noticed this brand has some other fab sugar free foods such as cookies and digestives…count me in!
5) Quest Lemon Cream Pie Bar
Personally, I find Quest bars so hit-and-miss, and this one was definitely a miss! It tasted like lemon bathroom cleaner, and so I definitely do not recommend this flavour! I think its best to stick to chocolate flavours where Quest is concerned!
6) Battle Oats Protein Cookie
Amazing. This has the texture and flavour of a regular cookie and contains 10g of protein too #winning ;). It tasted SO good, you need to treat yourself to this!
Let’s face it, new year and Christmas have been and gone, we all indulged (as you should too!) but now you’re wanting to get back on track and start the new year how you mean to go on. If you’re like me, I like to feel my best rather rapidly after the post-Christmas chocolate binge, although this may take more than a cup of green tea, with these 5 feel-good tips you’ll be well on your way.
1) Lemon water and honey
I love starting my day off with half a slice of lemon in some hot water with a drizzle of honey, not only does it smell so refreshing but it’s so invigorating not to rely on caffeine to start the day. There are many benefits to the lemon and honey combo, as it helps digestion, prevents acne, and boosts immunity. It’s also known to detoxify the liver (great for those who are not doing so well at dry January or had a few too many at Christmas ;))
2) Snack well
This one is very tricky when there is a half-eaten box of celebrations calling your name. To overcome this, I’ll put all of the leftover Christmas goodies in one cupboard and pray that out of sight out of mind really works ;). I’ll also do a food shop for my healthy essentials, and fill the fridge with wholesome, nourishing foods to encouraging healthy snacking once again!
3) Include a side salad with every meal
This is also a great tip for portion control, as the portion sizes become far more generous over the festive period! Not only does it make your plate nice and colourful, but it makes you conscious of how much food you have on your plate. Of course, salads don’t have to be boring either, I’ve noticed lots of lower calorie salad dressings hitting the supermarket shelves which will most definitely spice up any bland salad! For me, a salad is not complete with avocado (my obsession lately)!
Possibly the last thing you want to be thinking about after a lovely Christmas, but for me, nothing can beat that post-workout feeling. Exercise doesn’t have to be an hour of cardio on the dreadmill, it can be something simple like going for a walk or jog! Also, if you’re not quite ready to go back to the gym, Youtube offers a great selection of workout videos. A few channels that I recommend you subscribe to include ‘Group Hiit’, ‘The Bodycoach TV’ and ‘FitnessBlender’. They each offer loads of workouts lasting about 20 minutes, which is a great way to start your day.
Being a psychology student, of course to me health is so much more than physical. There is a study by Holmes and Rahe (1967) in which Christmas makes it onto the list of the main life events that people rated caused them the most stress! Therefore, it is so important to take time out for yourself, not only over the festive period but all year round. Some options that I find work best are getting lost in a good book, having a candle-lit bubble bath, doing 30 minutes of yoga or guided meditation (again a quick youtube search will bring up thousands of guided meditation walk-throughs). When I do yoga, I use an app called ‘Yoga Studio’ that costs £5.00 on the App Store and Google Play, I love the fact that you can do it in your own home, too!
Now that November is over, it’s officially Christmas as far as I’m concerned! Time to put the tree up, blast the carols and get that Christmas shopping done (not before you’ve had a little scroll through my foodie finds of course ;))
1) Tesco Finest Rye and Pumpkin Seed Bread
It’s safe to say the winter carb cravings are well and truly here 😉 I love a nice piece of bread with my soups or stews, and for me this one is perfect. I love that it’s made of rye flour, plus the pumpkin seeds add omega and protein to this yummy bread. Also, it has a lighter texture than most other rye bread, which tends to be very dense. I made my Mum try a slice, and now she won’t have anything else that’s how yummy it is!
2) Hi-pro Smooth Peanut Butter
This one is like your classic American style peanut butter, therefore it doesn’t require any mixing, unlike the more natural varieties. After seeing this PB all over my social media it had me curious. As nice as it is, I do prefer peanut butter to be a tad runnier as it’s easier to mix in with porridge, but still I’m glad I tried this one!
3) Myprotein Mugcake Mix
I don’t know if it was me making it wrong, but this was not what I expected. Admittedly it does have a cake-like texture, but it tastes very bland unless you flavour it up with yoghurt, honey or fruits. The first time I made it, it genuinely looked like something nasty in my cup :’) Even so, I love the concept, and the macros are great with each serving having 25g of protein. But the mission continues to find the perfect mug cake 😉
4) Sweet freedom chocolate syrup
I was SO pleased when I tried this! If you’re following my Instagram, you would have seen it on every bowl of porridge that I ate :’)! After having tried other ‘healthy chocolate syrups’ from various protein companies I was quite disappointed as the chocolate taste was so artificial. This beauty, however, will change your porridge game. The flavour is so rich and chocolatey, so you only need a small amount. Also, it is all natural and only 14 calories per teaspoon, safe to say I love it!
5) Livias Kitchen Biccy Boms
These are like chocolate teacakes, minus the marshmallow! They are covered in cacao chocolate, with a sweet date filling whilst the biscuit contains lucuma powder to give it a slight caramel taste. Per ball, they are 174 which is quite high for how small they were! I really wanted to like these, but in my books, they just weren’t worth the calories.
6) Ryvita Rye Cakes
Can you tell I was a bit obsessed with anything rye this month?! What I liked most about these is that they go great with both savoury and sweet. They make the perfect snack, especially as they are more filling than they look! Worth a try if you’re after some new snacks, a few combos that I tried were peanut butter and banana and marmite and cucumber.
7) Cocoa+ High Protein Chocolate Advent calender
Although I’ve been good and haven’t opened this one early…I still think it should be mentioned before it’s all gone 😉 I love the idea of a high protein, high-quality advent calendar. Each chocolate gives you 5g of protein and far less sugar than normal advent calendars, which I think is great. I.m so excited to try this one, especially as I’m always hearing good things about the brand…bring on the 1st (I will never be too old for an advent calendar!). Let the countdown to Christmas begin,
For me going on holiday involves relaxing, exploring and enjoying all things food. I Have not long returned from a lovely holiday to Gran Canaria, where I most certainly did all of the above! However, often the hardest thing is about finding the balance between staying healthy/maintaining your progress whilst also enjoying and indulging in all things food and culture.
For me, the key to finding this balance is in fact quite simple: take things back to their basics! This applies to many things such as exercise, food, treats, sleep, and relaxation. If this balance is achieved you’ll have one feel-good holiday. For example, I ensured I ate good food, went for lots of strolls (even if that was only to the shop to get some chocci ;)) had a good nights sleep, and importantly allowed some time to chill. I will be sharing with you my tips on how to have a great holiday and feel on top of your game at the same time.
Healthy airport snacks
I love the buzz of the airport. For me, the holiday starts as soon as I’m in the airport. This is the time that I’ll buy my snacks for the plane because who doesn’t love snacking on the plane?! Typically I’ll buy a protein bar, a packet of nuts and a small sweet something, this way you’re less tempted to fall for the sugar-filled plane snacks. To the right are a few of the snacks I purchased.
Be as active as possible
By this, I don’t mean spending hours in the hotel gym (because let’s face hotel gyms can be seriously hit or miss 😂) or even going for a 5 mile jog. I’m talking about making smaller changes such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the nearest beach or having a stroll around the local area. It just so happens that there was a massive hill (called Lomo de Tabaibales) near my hotel which of course I had to walk up, and I’m so glad I did as the views were stunning…even if it was in unpractical pretty sandals. I love going for a morning or evening walk as I find it really relaxing, and it encourages mindfulness – something we could all focus on more.
If you look closely, you’ll see the cross!
Plenty of good foods
Firstly I’ll visit the local supermarket to buy my essentials and to see what foods are available. Then I’ll do a rough plan of dinners that are full of micronutrients, protein, carbs etc. I don’t plan lunches or breakfast as I like to eat what I fancy on holiday, but I find planning dinner helps me to reach my macros. For example, some meals that I cooked this holiday include tuna and wholemeal spaghetti with olives, noodles with sardines, tomatoes and chickpeas, and a chickpea and egg Buddha bowl.
An example of some of the foods I purchased once I had completed my meal plan.
For an all-inclusive holiday, the temptation can be a lot harder when it comes to meal times what with the never-ending buffet full of yummy desserts…so tempting! For breakfast I’ll go for foods high in good fats and protein, and also carbs e.g scrambled eggs on toast with an avocado or oats with some fruit. For lunch and dinner I will always put my side salad on my plate first, then find a healthy protein source and some carbs, and of course, if there is a dessert I like, I’ll have it (in moderation!)
Below are some of the dinners I had whilst on my holiday:
potatoes with mackerel in tomato sauce, with olives and tomato slices.
An egg and chickpea salad.
Sardines with noodles, chickpeas, tomatoes and olives.
Pack a few things from home
As I know my protein intake tends to be lower on holiday, I pack some of my favourite protein bars from Grenade and Fulfill, which you can also buy from the airport. Also, instant oat pots such as those from ‘Oomf’ are great for a protein boost. Another thing I’ll pack are mini bags of salt, pepper, and other spices/ herbs to really add flavour to any food that I cook.
Oomf protein porridge pots are the perfect size to pack in your suitcase.
A selection of protein bars that I also packed.
Eat healthily, try to be active, and make time for you to unwind. Ultimately you’re on holiday, so of course, you have to indulge in a few drinks and nice food, but the key is to balance this out by making healthier choices elsewhere. Your progress and hard work will not be ruined over the duration of your holiday, in fact, you’ll probably return feeling full of energy and ready to smash some more personal bests!
I hope this blog post has proved that you can have your cake and eat it…quite literally 😉