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eating clean

We all know the drill: we wake up bright and early on Monday morning ready to embrace fruit, granola and poached eggs… only to be scoffing down a spice bag by Friday afternoon. 


Yup, life is hard. But it's fine because there's always another Monday lurking on the horizon.

Now it has been revealed that the average yo-yo dieter is only motivated by looking at their mates anyway: a Forza Supplements study found that the main incentive for women to lose weight is… remaining thinner than a friend or sister.

And regardless of the triggers, by 30 we have spent an astonishing three YEARS on a diet. Oh and by 40, that will length of time will have increased to almost SIX YEARS. 

That's a hell of a long time spent asking for your dressing on the side. 

Indeed, the majority of Irish women will diet twice a year, on average losing about 4lbs through dieting alone. 

And just why-oh-why do we spend so much of our 30s counting calories? Well, fear of middle-aged spread and gaining weight during pregnancy are both apparently at fault.

There IS light on the horizon though. Many woman tend to become comfortable with their figure by their 40s resulting in spending much less time dieting…

So here's to hitting 40! 


Blueberries, quinoa, nut milk, goji berries… it seems like almost anything these days can be touted as "superfood" if it offers enough benefits, but the latest addition to the list really caught our attention.

If you're looking for a protein-packed drink that won't cause the same health issues as standard cow's milk, then you may want to give camel milk a go.

Before you get all grossed out, it's worth noting that camel milk is paleo friendly, full of essential amino acids and fatty acids, and offers many of the benefits of cow's milk while being much more easily digested and containing half the fat content. It doesn't come cheap, with online suppliers currently selling it for anything from €8 – €27 per 500ml, as camels produce just 5 – 6 litres of milk per day.

But the most important part? It (apparently) tastes great, offering a "smooth, sweet and light" taste that is different to the heavy creaminess of cow's milk, according to UK company and camel milk supplier MuscleFood. If you're not a fan of the taste of milk in general, camel milk is also available in flavoured form, with strawberry, chocolate and even saffron flavours all on the market from various companies.

As for celebrity fans, the ultimate trendsetter Kim Kardashian herself even tried a glass on a trip to Bahrain a couple of years back – and we have to admit it looks tasty:

While camel milk can still only be purchased online and is not yet widely available for purchase in Ireland, it is growing rapidly in popularity and it's only a matter of time before an Irish company jumps on the bandwagon.

With the milk not only being produced in the Middle East but not also on European farms, camel milk is no longer the obscure product it once was. For now, if you're keen, certain UK companies can deliver directly to Ireland.


Beyoncé may have arrived over an hour late to last week's Met Gala in New York, but her incredible outfit more than made up for it.

The singer looked every bit the style icon in a beautiful sheer floor length Givenchy dress, but what had many people talking was her noticeably slimmer figure.

Though Bey still rocked her signature curves, the translucent fabric showed off every body part and it was clear she had lost a significant amount of weight since her last red carpet appearance.

Bey at the Grammys back in February 2015

Now, a source close to the mum-of-one has revealed Beyoncé's weight loss process, saying she turned to her favourite detox diet, the Master Cleanse ahead of this year's event.

The extreme diet, which requires followers to subsist mainly on a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water, is definitely not a recommended diet plan but it is one Beyoncé has used more than once.

"Beyoncé's… been doing the Master Cleanse diet she's used before – she hasn't forgotten that it gets results when it matters. This time, she lost over a stone, 15lbs. in total. When Bey puts her mind to it, nothing can stop her," an insider revealed to Heat magazine.

The singer famously used the cleanse to help her to drop over 20lbs for her 2006 role in Dreamgirls, and it seems she has decided to revisit it nine years on.

Even when she's not on an extreme detox, Beyoncé is "almost always on some kind of diet," the source said. "She's been really strict for the last month – no carbs and mostly vegan with just the occasional protein cheat."

We agree Bey looked fabulous in that sheer dress, but we hope she's looking after her body too.


We've all heard the many, many benefits of eating a diet full of fresh fruits and veggies, but sometimes it's easier said than done.

If you've been counting the tomato sauce on your takeaway pizza as one of your five-a-day lately, it might be time to overhaul your diet a little.

Here are a few simple ways to pack more fruits and vegetables into your day without even noticing…

1. Start your day off with a green smoothie
There's no easier way to load up on nutrients before even leaving the house. Green smoothies are so simple to make with a blender or juicer, and as long as you add enough fruit they'll taste as sweet and tangy as a regular smoothie. Try around 60% fruit to 40% green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale are great options), then add ice or water and blend. 

2. Swap standard pasta and rice for veggie versions
Trust us, you won't miss those carbs. Get yourself a spiral slicer, Spiraliser or mandolin slicer and thinly slice courgette or squash in place of wheat spaghetti. The veggies soak up flavours and sauce in the same way standard pastas do, so your meal will be just as moreish as before. In place of rice, try mashed or riced cauliflower. Steam and mash cauliflower with a knob of butter, or rice it by pulsing or grating and then gently sautéeing. 

3. Load up your pasta sauce
Homemade pasta sauce takes about five minutes to make – simply chop some tomatoes and blend with a teaspoon of tomato purée before heating up or stirring through hot pasta. The best thing about making your own sauce – apart from the amazing taste – is that you can add as many veggies as you like. Dice up some carrots, courgettes, onions, mushrooms – whatever you like, really – and either add them in whole or blend them with the sauce.

4. Make one day meatless
Choose one day a week as your Meatless Day, and aim to fill up on beans, pulses, fruit and vegetables instead. Knowing your lunch and dinner have to be meat free is a great way to motivate you to search out new veggie recipes. 

5. Liven up your side dishes
Rice, quinoa, cous-cous, and other side dishes don't have to be bland and plain. Stir through some chopped nuts, pomegranate seeds, finely chopped onions and tomatoes, thinly sliced radish, torn coriander or mint… anything to brighten up your side dishes and add texture and taste.

6. Snack wisely
Keep fruit and vegetable snacks on hand to stop you reaching for the biscuits come the 3pm slump. As well as the obvious ones – apples, oranges, carrot sticks – try some blueberries or raspberries, a fruit smoothie, dried mango or dried apricots.


If your immune system or metabolism needs a good kick up the bum, a juice cleanse could be the answer. 

During a juice cleanse or fast, all meals are replaced with specially made raw pressed juices. You can stock up for a cleanse lasting anywhere from a day to a week, but if  this is your first cleanse, the recommended maximum length is around 3 days. Benefits include increased energy and vitality, as well as removal of toxins from your body.

A juice cleanse isn't for everyone, but if you're interested, here are our top tips to ensure things go smoothly and you make the most of your hard work!

1. Choose your timing wisely
Make sure you double and triple check your calendar before starting your cleanse. If you have a big event like a birthday or party over the next couple of days, you'll just be miserable watching everyone else eating and drinking like kings. Likewise, if you have an especially busy week at work, it might be better to delay your fast by a few days.

2. Don't tire yourself out
Bear in mind that your energy levels may drop at points during the cleanse, as your body is running on less fuel. Excessive exercise is definitely not a good idea, but a gentle workout is still okay. Sweating is the easiest way to expel toxins from your body, so if you don't fancy that aerobics class, get to the sauna instead.

3. Catch up on rest
Use these few days to really look after your body, allowing it to focus on detoxifying. Getting a good night's sleep also allows your body to better manage its energy levels.

4. Know your limits
If you feel dizzy, faint or shaky, don't ignore it. You might feel it's "cheating" to eat something solid, but your body will thank you for the fuel injection. Try a light salad, some steamed veg or some sweet potato for a quick fix that won't ruin the detox. A 3 day fast is not for everyone so be mindful of your body and how it is responding.

5. End the fast gradually
All you've had for three days is juice – that McDonalds is sounding mighty good right about now. But try to use the first few meals after your fast to gently ease your digestive system back into its normal routine. A large, heavy meal will overload your system and leave you feeling bloated or even ill.


If you’ve ever been on a diet or tried to drop a few pounds, you’ll know what an emotional rollercoaster it can be. Some days you get out of bed feeling like a lean, mean weight loss machine – until you stand on the scales and realise you’re actually up a pound. Other days, after binge-eating and feeling super guilty, you’ve randomly lost two pounds.

Checking your weight on a daily basis can be a measure of progress, yes, but it’s not always an accurate way to tell how healthy you are.

One of my friends has always been a steady size 8, even though her favourite lunchtime snack in secondary school was a box of wedges from Spar and a Mars bar. No matter what she ate, her weight never changed. When it came to PE though, she was woefully unfit. So while she might have had a healthy appearance, her body certainly wasn’t thanking her for the excess junk food. Now that we’re older and she has started eating more cleanly and exercising regularly, the difference is obvious in so many ways. Yes, her weight is still the same as at 16, but her skin is clearer, she always has heaps of energy and she’d outrun Usain Bolt. Almost.

If you’ve been putting hard work into exercise and diet but are seeing no difference on the scales, consider other factors that might be changing without you noticing. Muscle weighs more than fat per pound, so if you’ve been hitting the gym hard, your weight on the scales may stay the same or even – god forbid – go up. A good way to track changes in your body is to measure key areas like arms, waist, hips and thighs every week. You might not have dropped a pound on the scales, but you could still be losing inches!

Taking notice of how your clothes fit is another way to track progress. Is that Saturday night dress suddenly a little easier to zip up? It’s no accident!

Lifestyle and diet changes can also hugely affect your mental health and your relationship with food – two positive changes that the scales will never pick up on. When we eat well and exercise regularly, our body can cope with stress more easily and we can focus more clearly on daily tasks. As for food, eating cleanly means you become mindful of what you’re putting into your body.

Even if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, it’s so important to realise that what you weigh isn’t the only thing that defines you. Your weight is not a measure of your health, your personality, your intelligence or your self-worth. So don’t let the number on the scales control you.

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