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healthy

Variety – as well as compromise – is the spice of life. So while we might not be able to resist EVERY single treat going – some small tweaks and occasional changes can make a big difference to how we look and feel.

That and reaching for a large glass of Pinot Grigio most nights of the week isn't always so appealing when you know you'll be up at the crack of dawn with loud and lively small ones.

With that in mind, we've compiled a list of five fabulously delicious snacks to tuck into when you feel a lift-me-up that doesn't involve a pounding headache or inhaling two packets of Hobnobs…  

1) Dark chocolate and green tea

According to one US study, dark chocolate and green tea is the ideal combo to tackle that mid-afternoon energy drop. If you snack on these, you should feel more alert and attentive thanks to the dark chocolate (minimum 60 percent cacao). Meanwhile your blood pressure should also instantly drop thanks to the amino acid L-theanine, which is a relaxant found in green tea. 
 
2) Apple with peanut butter or banana and almond butter
Peanut, almond or cashew butters are great sources of healthy fats and protein, and fruits provide us with fibres, essential for our gut health and to regulate our appetite. Spread a thin layer of nut butter on your favourite fruit and you get a lovely sweet, filling and healthy snack. However, if you're keeping an eye on your calorie intake, don’t be too heavy-handed with the nut butter, as it’s very rich. 

3) Almond stuffed prunes

So much more than an elderly lady constipation treatment! To make them softer, soak your prunes in tea or water and stuff them with a lightly grilled almond. Prunes are a good source of potassium, iron, and of course fibres to help digestion and promote a healthy gut. To mix things up a little, swap almonds with walnuts and the prunes with dates.
 
4) Energy balls
Energy/protein balls were a BIG food trend in 2016, and for good reason. Making them yourself in bulk will make them much more affordable than when you buy them in the shop. Depending on what ingredients you use, they can be a great source of vitamins and minerals. Just Google “energy balls” and you will find countless recipes. Try the likes of peanut butter, dates, oats and cacao power ball, or blend together dates, your favourite nuts, goji berries, coconut and cacao for example. Be careful, these treats are seriously addictive!

5) Greek yoghurt, blackberries and honey
A great source of protein, probiotics, potassium and calcium, Greek yoghurt is definitely your waistline friend. Top it with blackberries (full of vitamin C and antioxidants, and low in calories) and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, you will get a filling and delicious snack that your tummy will thank you for. 
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Nakd bars have really taken off.

Made with natural ingredients, they contain just fruit and nuts, and not an ounce of the refined rice puffs you find in most 'healthy' cereal bars.

Full of vitamins and minerals, they're also – HURRAH! – seriously delicious.

But if you regularly tuck in, it might be an idea to make a batch of them yourself.

The great thing is that they’re extremely easy to make. Here’s a version of the recipe that we tried out and absolutely loved. 

As you'll see, you can alter it slightly, depending on what extract you opt for, meaning you can mix it up and never get bored…

Ingredients: (serves 12)

1 ½ cups of dates

½ cup of raisins

1 ½ cups of cashew nuts

2 tsp vanilla extract (or orange, or mint)

2 tbsp cocoa

Method:

1. Blend all of the ingredients. Then line a container with cling film and press the mixture into it.

2. Pop it into the fridge and leave it sit there for about half an hour. 

3. Cut it into ‘bars' (or any shape you like really!)

4. Eat! If you put them in the fridge, they'll last about three-four weeks in an airtight container. If you want to freeze them, wrap them up individually to keep them fresh – they should be good for a couple of months. 

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It's the salad bar with the serious following – and now Chopped has branched out from its city centre, Ballsbridge, Baggot St, and Fairview locations to another site in Rathmines.

Suffice to say from now on it will be giving Dublin 6-based folk some incredibly delicious lunch options, but right now it's practically a riot down there.

Why? Well, because at the moment salads are being given out FOR FREE.

The offer extends until lunchtime (1pm) so if you happen to be in the area, you need to elbow your way in pretty much immediately.

After 1pm, all purchases for the rest of the day are a wholly tempting half price. 

For anyone who misses out – there is some further good news, however: Tallaght and Sandyford will also be getting their own outlets very soon.

Hurrah for salad!

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Let's be real, trying to stay fit and healthy when your a busy woman can be super-tricky, and most of the time we don't even know where to begin.

Early starts and late nights can sometimes mean all health goals go out the window – but it doesn't have to be the daunting task you think it is; it can actually be really easy. 

We caught up with fitness and nutrition expert Paul Byrne at Balfes where he was launching the new healthy breakfast menu, and he broke down the ins and outs of the working woman staying healthy.

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare

It's really important to plan and prepare what to eat everyday. Paul suggests making your lunch and breakfast the night before, so you will waste no time in the morning.

"It can be as simple as preparing your lunch the evening before. Or making porridge in the morning takes the same amount of time as making toast. It's just about choosing the healthy option that suits your lifestyle."

And if you are rushing every morning, you can have something small when you leave the house and then eat more later.

"The whole point of breakfast is breaking your fast, so have a juice before you run out of the house in the morning, and then around 11am, have your porridge or have your eggs."

 

2. Don't trick your body

Most of us will grab the easiest thing in the morning, like a bowl of cereal or bread, but Paul warned us against it, as it can play games with your body.

"A bowl of cereal could have about seven or eight spoonfuls of sugar in it. You might think this is grand and healthy, but sugar just makes your body crash within an hour or two and then you're back to square one."

Instead, having a bag of unsalted nuts in your handbag can give you a major boost and keep you sustained between meals.

 

3. Build up your fitness

As we all know, every new year we make promises to ourselves that we will work out everyday and cut out ALL the bad stuff, but Paul suggests to keep it in moderation, especially when you're only starting. 

"There's no point going to the gym five or six days a week when you're only starting out. You need to start of slow and work it up; so, maybe begin with two days a week, and work up to three days and so on."

And the same goes with food: "If you begin to eat a carrot for lunch everyday, you're going to get sick of it very quickly. Let yourself have cheat days, let yourself have that glass of wine on Saturday night. You should never deprive your body of anything."

 

4. Don't fall for myths

You will often see on TV and on the Internet, myths about being healthy, but Paul says that most of it is made up, and always stick to what works for you and only you.

"A couple of years ago there was a myth about the yellow of the egg being really bad for you. It's not at all. Myths like this can completely ruin diets and give people unachievable goals. Just stick to the basics and you will be fine."

 

Healthy breakfast and lunch dishes are available at Balfes Restaurant, The Westbury Hotel.

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Feeling daunted about starting your New Year resolution to eat better, get fitter and lose weight? Don’t worry, you’re not alone and there are some simple things you can do to get started and more importantly, to stick with it.

Experts in the U.S. have looked at the habits of people who manage to lose weight successfully and keep that weight off. There is a lot we can learn from these successful dieters, but the main thing is – this is not rocket science. What you need to do is develop a series of simple, healthy habits. And guess what? There are only 9 to remember.

Here are the 9 things that successful dieters do:

1.Track their food intake: You can do this using safefood’s free weight-mate app. It contains a huge variety of easy, delicious, healthy meal plans developed by nutritionists to suit your tastes.

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2.Count calories or grams of fat: All of safefood’s weight-mate recipes and meal plans have been calorie counted and checked for fat content.

3.Follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet: There’s a lot of chat about low-carb and high protein diets these days, and they do work for some people, but that’s not what the successful diets did. Here are some handy tips on making your meals healthier.

4.Eat breakfast regularly: This tends to help people avoid making bad food choices later in the morning. If that sounds familiar, you’ll find lots of healthy breakfast recipe ideas on safefood’s website.

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5.Limit how often they eat out: They don’t eat out more than three times a week and eat fast food less than once a week. Studies have found that foods eaten outside the home tend to be higher in calories and fat. Portions sizes are also often larger. We have lots of tips on healthy options when eating out to help you make better choices.

6.Stick with moderation for holidays and special occasions: (We’ll do better next Christmas!)

7.Walk about an hour a day or participate in other activities: You can set a physical activity goal of an hour a day on safefood’s weight-mate app and track how you are doing.

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8.Watch less than 10 hours of TV a week: Monitor your TV viewing for a week to see how much you actually watch. You might be surprised!

9.Weigh themselves once a week: You can also track your weight using our Weight-mate app.

This year, let’s not let the resolutions slip. Say no to fad diets, do what works and start adopting these healthy habits to get healthy and stay healthy for 2016.

To get started, download weight-mate now:

 

 

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Pizza is a great thing! People love pizza so much they created perfectly pizza slice shaped pockets to carry it around with them wherever they go.

Cold pizza might not be the thing that dreams are made of, but you can't deny this is a sign that our collective obsession with the food is here to stay. 

Unfortunately too much of it can be a not so great thing, as much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise.

We often hear people saying that they’re trying to cut out the amount of carbs they consume. What they should be more concerned about is eating the right type of carbohydrates.

So, if you are trying to leave the stodgy carbs behind but have suddenly become consumed by cravings do not fear. 

We found the exact recipe you need.

This pizza has a quinoa crust that is high in protein and fibre, and is also naturally gluten free. So next time you start lusting after some takeaway pizza, you will know what to do. 

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup water, plus more for soaking quinoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Cooking spray

Method

Place the quinoa in a small bowl and cover it with water. Let the quinoa soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and thoroughly rinse the quinoa (this will prevent any bitterness in the crust). Place the quinoa, 1/4 cup water, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a smooth batter is formed, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the food processor as necessary. 

Line an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and then spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 220 degrees. Remove the parchment paper from under the crust.Flip the crust over and return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until golden and the edges are crispy.

Remove from the oven and add sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes,so the cheese is melted and delicious

Cut the pizza into four wedges (or just one giant slice) and enjoy! 

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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. 

#shame

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! 

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For many of us, all we need for a dreary mid-week evening to improve massively is a sweet treat.

Here at SHEmazing! we can be of the belief that cake and a good cup of tea can be responsible for making a bad day infinitely better. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. 

The only down side can be that often our favourite snacks can leave us feeling a little bit guilty, but when we think of comfort food kale smoothies are not exactly top of the list.

This chocolate and peanut butter cake however sounds like exactly what we want. 

Not only is this absolutely delicious (trust us, we have sampled a slice or three) but the recipe comes from #fitspo queen Kayla Itsines. You can enjoy this cake absolutely guilt-free and by including protein you're actually adding important nutrients in your diet. 

Ingredients:
Crust:
½ cup cashews
½ cup walnuts
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 dates, pitted
2 Tbs Cacao Powder

Filling:
½ cup of natural peanut butter
2 scoops of Whey Protein Isolate (Peanut flavoured) or 60g of powdered peanut butter
½ cup  Cottage Cheese
½ cup natural yogurt
2 Tbs Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 tsp Coconut Oil
2 Tbs Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Topping:
2 tbs coconut oil, melted, 1 tbs maple syrup, 2 tbs raw cacao powder and 1 tsp vanilla.

Directions:

  1. Combine all crust ingredients together in a food processor until they form a crumble and then put it in a pan.
  2. Blend the cottage cheese, peanut butter and natural yoghurt together. Add in the remaining filling ingredients.
  3. Make the chocolate topping by combining all ingredients together.
  4. Pour the filling mixture on top of the crust. Smooth down with a spatula and pour over chocolate topping. Chill for one hour.
  5. After the pie has chilled, take it out and remove from the pan.
  6. Eat all of the cake!
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We've all been told since we were young to eat in moderation – but for so many women, eating in moderation is something completely different. 

For one woman, moderation might mean having just one can of Coke per week. For another it could mean ordering a medium pizza instead of a large; and for another it could mean putting down the fork when full. 

And according to Women's Health, technically they're all right. 

While telling someone to eat in moderation may be non-specific, it could actually enable you to watch what you eat without a food diary or nutrition tracker. 

No two women have the exact same calorie count or nutritional needs, nutritionist Jamie Mass tells Women's Health

"We all come to understand what moderate eating is from a different starting point. How you grew up, your family and friends, and even the messages you get from advertisements impact what overeating and moderate eating mean to you."

And Jamie believes that eating in moderation trumps any other dieting habit. 

"When women focus on eating the correct portion size – whether it's indicated by a nutritional label or a diet plan – they ignore their body's personal needs."

"That been said, moderation should be the result, not the focus, of every meal. Otherwise moderation can become restriction."

And we all know that restricting ourselves from eating our favourite foods NEVER last in the long run. 

"Deprivation isn't good for our mental health and can lead to not-so-moderate food choices later on," says Jamie. 

She suggests that we take time with our meals and ask ourselves, 'Am I really hungry? Or just bored, tired or stressed?' 

Then check back in half-way through our meals and think, 'Do I need anymore? Do I feel satisfied?'

These questions will automatically help you to eat in moderation – and reach your ideal weight.

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We love avocados and we also loved baked. We really love when we can combine two things which we absolutely love and end up with something even more delicious.

There is also the added bonus of knowing that by incorporating avocados into our baked goods, we’re technically being healthy. 

Avocados are the good kind of fat you need, and that makes us happy. So here’s a list of some the best ways to incorporate avocados into your baking routine. Trust us, you won’t even realise you’re eating healthy because these desserts are magical.

Double chocolate avocado cookies 

Try the recipe here

Chocolate avocado mousse 

‘Cheat clean’ as they say. The recipe is here

Red velvet mini cupcakes with honey frosting 

OK, so these may be a little bit tricky, but so delicious you need to try them

Avocado cheesecake 

Cheesecake on fleek

Chocolate biscuit sandwiches 

Everything about this recipe is excellent. 

 

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There is nothing that people love to find more than a brand new superfood.

You can't blame us for getting excited at the prospect of something to help us improve our diet though can you? Anything tasty and guaranteed to provide us with some health benefits is a sure winner here at SHEmazing

However, we think that digging up the best sources of protein is not a phrase we would ever use literally.

It would appear that we may have to reconsider that approach to snacking- if you're really keen on getting more protein in your diet. According to a new study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, insects such as caterpillars, crickets, meal worms, bees, and other bugs are more nutritious, gram for gram, than steak or chicken.

Researchers at Oxford University tested six commercially available types of insects (no, we didn't have then on our list either) and found that across all six options, 100 grams of bugs (approximately 200 crickets, FYI) is actually packed with more protein, energy, calcium, and vitamins than a 100 gram serving of chicken, steak, or other meat. Delicious.

Eating weird food that delivers a ton of nutrients shouldn't be that unimaginable considering last week we were told that we should include more avocado stone in our diets, apparently. 

Before you cue the gag reflex, entomophagy- which is the scientific terms used to describe eating insects,  is actually good for the environment as well as our health.

While the production of cattle or poultry takes a lot of time, money, and ecological investment, insects only take days to mature and are cheap to maintain.

It may not be as weird as you think. Cooking creepy crawlies is considered normal, sometimes even a delicacy, in countries around the world, from ants in Brazil to chocolate-covered locusts in Mexico to deep-fried crickets in Thailand.

In the US, cricket flour has been on the market for quite some time and there are even there are cookbooks devoted to baking bugs, like The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook and Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets are just two of many titles for anyone feeling insect inclined. The books include recipes like White Chocolate and Wax Worm Cookies and Deep Fried Tarantulas.

OK, so who wants to share some chocolate-covered cocroaches for dinner?

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Getting yourself into the gym, or out for a jog, can be a huge achievement. These activities take time and energy, but it is also important to remember that what you do after your workout is just as important.

What you eat after your workout can have a huge effect on your fitness goals. If you’re not getting the right combination of nutrients then you could find yourself in some trouble.

To avoid this, we put together a list of some of the best options for you to enjoy as a healthy and tasty post-workout snack.

Stuffed avocados

You could bake an egg in your avocado for added protein to go with your healthy fats, or add a scoop of tuna salad. There’s also the option of some salmon, salsa or even hummus.

Apples and nut butter

Peanut butter (the natural kind) or almond butter will provide you with a good balance of macronutrients that your body is going to need after a tough workout. The healthy dose of fat, carbohydrate and protein, along with the fibre-dense fruit will be enough to satisfy your sweet cravings so you’ll be good to go.

Salmon salad with green veggies

The salmon will provide your body with all of the omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids it needs to help repair and rebuild the muscle you’ve broken down in the gym. Perfect for after a weight-lifting session or a high intensity workout.

Greek yoghurt

Full of protein to help your muscles repair and also delicious. Make sure you add some granola or fruit to get in the carbs your body needs after exercising.

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