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Choosing what you want to eat for lunch can be a daily struggle. 

These days, it's safe to say we're all health conscious, but some lunch options that appear to be on the lighter side, can add up to the same amount of calories as a burger. 

But fear not! We have top tips from the experts at Safe Food that will have you eating right in no time. 

Top Tips

  • Watch your bread! Ask for sandwiches to be made on two slices of bread from a regular sliced pan (deli slices of bread can be twice as thick as regular slices). Go for wholegrain bread whenever you can. Rolls and baguettes can be very heavy – wraps are a lighter option.
  • Go for ‘low-fat’, ‘low-calorie’ or ‘healthy option’ sandwiches where you can.
  • Many sandwiches, rolls and salads contain hidden ingredients. Check the label for the calorie, fat and salt contents so that you’re not misled.
  • The ultimate healthy sandwich is made from wholegrain bread, lean meat, poultry or fish, plenty of salad vegetables and a tablespoon of low-fat dressing.
  • If you put spread or mayonnaise onto your bread slices, then try not to have any more mayonnaise or dressing in the sandwich filling.
  • Have some fruit or a low-fat yoghurt after your sandwich for a really tasty lunch.

Healthy Choices

Sandwiches

  • Chicken or turkey breast without skin
  • Roast beef or lean ham
  • Tuna, prawn, salmon or crab meat without mayo
  • Egg, Quorn slices, couscous or tofu wraps
  • Low-fat cheese or cottage cheese
  • Low-fat dressing, low-fat spread, low-fat mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup
  • Extra salad for fibre and bulk
  • Wholegrain bread, Granary bread, pita bread or tortilla wraps

 

Salads

  • Tomato-based salad
  • Low-fat coleslaw
  • Low-fat hummus, salsa or yoghurt dips with freshly cut vegetables
  • Pasta, rice or noodles with salad
  • Sushi

 

Extras, treats and snacks

  • Broth type soups
  • Low-fat yoghurt 
  • Probiotic drinks or yoghurts
  • Fruit, fruit salad
  • Low-calorie cereal bars
  • Rice cakes
  • Low-fat rice pudding or custard
  • Yoghurt-based smoothies

 

Where to go easy…

Sandwiches

  • Bacon, sausage, cheese, coleslaw or a mixture of these
  • Processed meats such as salami, pepperoni or corned beef
  • Any meat with skin or visable fat
  • Mayonnaise, oil-based dressing, butter or full-fat margarine
  • Large rolls, white bread, cheese baguettes or oily breads like focaccia
  • Crumpets, croissants, muffins or stuffed breads

 

Salads

  • Potato salad or coleslaw
  • Cheese
  • Croutons

 

Extras, treats and snacks

  • Chocolate bars (if you must, go for a treat-sized bar)
  • Cream or ice-cream desserts
  • Cakes, buns or tarts
  • Full-fat custard or puddings
  • Sweets, toffees, crisps
  • Muffins, danishes, biscuits
  • Fizzy drinks, milkshakes, cream-based coffees

 

Trending

He was controversially denied the coveted Star Baker title – despite constructing an INCREDIBLE lion entirely from bread.

However, Great British Bake Off's Paul Jagger, 49, has at least achieved another great honour: he's sparked waves of online memes and tributes which affectionately nod to his delicious show-stopper. 

The prison worker's feline was created using a white bread head, a wholemeal tail, and a body filled with figs and walnuts.

Even the notoriously grumpy Paul Hollywood couldn't help but be blown away: the judge declared the lion to be "one of the best things I've seen in bread – ever!"

Mr Jagger was subsequently given a "special commendation," – with GBBO presenter Sue Perkins explaining that the honour was being bestowed because Mr Hollywood "has never ever in his life seen a bread sculpture as magnificent as that one".

Still, Paul was ultimately pipped to the Star Baker post by rival Ian Cumming – a decision which caused countless viewers to take to the likes of Twitter to vent their frustration. 

With a full six days to go until next week's episode, and in order to pay our respects to Paul's magnificent lion, SHEmazing! has decided to round up the very best online responses to the great Great British Bake Off lion…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trending

Probably one of the hardest parts of being healthy is swearing off bread. Even just typing the word bread makes us really really want some bread. 

But thankfully, there's an easy way of over-coming this craving and that is by making your own guilt free bread. 

This way you can still satisfy the bread craving, without any of the nasty ingredients that cause bloating and weight gain. 

The great thing about these breads is there are a few reoccurring ingredients, so once you buy them you will have plenty of use for them. 

For all of the recipes below, feel free to add your favourite nuts or seeds to give them an extra crunch. 

 

1. Banana bread​

  • 4 mashed bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 140g almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 75g cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt

This one is our personal favourite as it satisfies your craving for bread and for something sweet all at the same time. 

All you have to do is combine your bananas, eggs, almond butter and coconut oil and mix them extremely well. Then simply add in your coconut flour and the remainder of the ingredients. Put the mix into a bread tin and bake for 50-55 minutes on 180C.

 

2. Sweet potato bread

  • 300g of cooked sweet potato
  • 110g of coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of salt

This recipe is quick and easy so we love it! It feels like you are really indulging but it's extremely nutritious.

Once you have cooked the sweet potato, combine it with all of the other ingredients and pre heat your oven to 180C. Bake in the oven for 40 minute, then for a further 20 minutes while covered in tin foil. 

 

3. Yoghurt and oat bread

  • 1 large tub of low fat natural yogurt (500 ml)
  • 2 tubs of fine porridge oats 
  • 2 tsp of bread soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Fat Free Milk

This is another seriously food-proof recipe which we love.

For this one, simply place bread soda salt, and the yoghurt into a mixing bowl. You can then you the tub from the yoghurt to measure out two full tubs of porridge oats to add to the bowl and stir it all together thoroughly. Add beaten egg and milk and it's good to go. Bake at 180C for 50 minutes. 

 

Trending

You can tuck into starchy foods such as cereal, bread and chips – and counteract some of the negative effects by drinking green tea at the same time.

That’s because an extract from the tea has now been found to reduce the amount of carbs that you absorb during digestion.

Hurrah! Starch is the most common carbohydrate we consume, and the likes of potatoes, rice, bread and pasta all contain large amounts.

Led by Jaroslaw Walkowiak of Poznan University in Poland, the researchers found the dose of green tea extract decreased starch digestion and absorption compared to a placebo group.

“This plant extract is widely available, inexpensive, and well tolerated, so it has potential utility for weight control and the treatment of diabetes,” researchers said afterwards.

They added that it was important to have several cups a day in order for the process to prove effective.

And plenty of A-listers are already in on the act too: Lady Gaga is said to be drinking up in the run-up to her forthcoming wedding, while Kendall Jenner said last year she was downing "like 12 cups a day".

Several years ago, Victoria Beckham was among the first wave of celebs who was reportedly staying slim by regularly consuming green tea.

 

Trending

Out of the thousands of diets and food crazes that we hear about, most of them generally have one thing in common: no bread.

There is no doubt that cutting out the King of Carbs is going to help with a huge range of dietary issues. But eliminating an entire food group, as well as one of our biggest energy sources, is bound to have a noticeable impact on our bodies.

Let’s look at what exactly happens when we eliminate bread from our diets.

Rapid Weight Loss

One of the first things you may notice if you completely cut out carbs from your diet is how quickly you begin to lose weight. But what may surprise you is that it’s not actually fat you are losing but water. According to womenshealthmag.com every gram of carbohydrate that is stored in the body holds three to four times its weight in water. So if you cut out carbs altogether, a lot of water weight should drop off quickly.

You can catch… the flu?

Cutting carbs out of your diet is a huge change for your metabolism. An unpleasant common symptom of cutting bread totally out of your diet is the “low-carb flu”. This happens when your body starts adjusting to the change of getting its energy from fats instead of carbs. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, bad breath, and brain fog. The good news is that it doesn’t last. Soon your body will start to run on fats in a process called ketosis.

The risk of heart disease fluctuates

This depends on what type of grains you cut out of your diet. According to Plos One, refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of heart disease. Whereas the American Heart Association says that whole grains can improve blood-cholesterol levels and lower the risks of many illnesses including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Your cravings will start to disappear

Thankfully cutting out white bread will help with your cravings for… white bread! Refined carbohydrates make your blood-sugar levels skyrocket only for them to plummet back down. A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition alleged that this activity can start up our addictive centres in the brain. Choosing fibre-rich whole grains can help to keep the blood-sugars from crashing back down.

Constipation can unfortunately occur

Whole-grains are one of our biggest fibre supplies so cutting out brown bread and whole-grains in general will make constipation more likely. As well as keeping your bowels running smoothly, fibre helps to keep blood-sugar levels consistent and reduces the risk of obesity. Alternative sources of fibre include lentils, beans, avocado, edamame and brown rice.

Energy levels can drop

As carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, cutting them out will most likely see a drop in energy levels. This will make exercising more difficult as you may feel fatigued. To combat this it is important to make sure that you get enough fat in your diet to replace the loss of carbs and to stay totally hydrated by drinking loads of water. 

Trending

It’s good to have a healthy alternative to butter to spread on bread or crackers.

While avocado makes a great substitute, sometimes we all want something a little sweet.

This spread is made from coconut, honey and vanilla.

It’s sweet and healthy – perfect for your morning toast!

What you’ll need:

  • 250g dessicated coconut
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 vanilla pod

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass jar. The mixture will harden after a few hours and become like a buttery consistency.

To make the spread chocolate, just add some cocoa powder or some white chocolate to keep that great colour!

Trending

When there are bananas about to go off, it can be a difficult decision to throw them away.

You may not have gotten around to eating them (good intentions and all of that) but you don’t want to waste them either.

Well, why not throw together a delicious banana bread?

This recipe makes a moist and tasty cake that will go perfectly with a cup of tea.

What you’ll need:

  • 240g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 110g butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 60ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Handful of walnuts, chopped

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a loaf tin.
  2. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and combine well.
  5. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  6. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix. Try not to over-mix as the cake will be heavy.
  7. Bake the cake for about an hour or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
  8. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and a cup of tea.
Trending

Who doesn’t love a crispy, sweet and warm pain au chocolat with their afternoon coffee? It’s perfection.

These are deceptively easy to make with only three ingredients.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 handfuls of chocolate chips or spread
  • Flaked almonds (optional)

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Divide the puff pastry into 6 squares, or 4 if you prefer bigger pastries.
  3. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
  4. Add the chips or spread to the middle of the pastry and fold the sides on top of the middle to seal the chocolate filling.
  5. Brush the outside of the pastries once sealed.
  6. If using, sprinkle the almonds on top now.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 mins or until golden and crisp.
  8. Lightly dust with icing sugar.
Trending

Anna Nolan, presenter of The Great Irish Bake Off, officially opened Dublin’s second Natural Bakery store in Donnybrook yesterday.

The Natural Bakery opened its first store in Kilmainham and third will soon open in Rathmines.

A state of the art bakery is located on site in the Donnybrook store and the company boasts a highly skilled team of bakers.

Breads from all over the world will be available, from the Irish brown and white soda, French baguettes and Pain de Champagne and Poland’s Roogalla as well as a wide range of delicious cakes and pastries.

Owner of The Natural Bakery, Luke Creighton, spoke about his delight at the opening of the new store: “When we opened our first store in Kilmainham we never imagined that we would see queues of people outside the store waiting to buy our products. I feel very confident that this shop in Donnybrook and indeed the shop we will be opening next month in Rathmines will also be a hit. We are creating jobs and in my opinion we are also creating some of the best breads and pastries in the city.”

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