Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Sugar-Free September: Our Top Tips For Giving Up Sugar



If you find yourselves always reaching for the biscuit tin come 3pm, or wonder why your energy levels plummet along with your forehead into your keyboard, then this is the post for you.

Whether you're a Haribo, Skittles or chocolate lover, or even a fan of those low-fat Muller type yoghurts, then this post is also for you. Here at IAIT, we are making September a sugar-free month (sugar-free September, anyone?) and we're challenging you to join us.

Ladies, we are going to help you quit and ditch the habit. Sugar, sugar, we are through...

Tips for quitting sugar


Not convinced? Just hear us out. However much we love the taste of sugar (and, let's face it, sugary foods taste pretty darn spectacular, else why would we do it?), it's not good for us. We know it's not, right?

You see, not only does sugar contain a whole heap of calories with zero nutrients, but it also rots your teeth. It's highly addictive and can cause premature ageing and wrinkles. It can lead you to pile on the pounds, or act as a stepping stone to insulin resistance (yep, that will lead to Diabetes and a whole host of other problems), and it's even been linked to a whole heap of other diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

It's bad, isn't it? And trust me, I could go on and on and on about the side effects of sugar, but I won't. Just remember: sugar is bad for you.

Anyway, I've spent the past three years as a fully-reformed sugar addict - and, honestly, I've never looked back.

The first few days were hell. I felt grumpy, got headaches and was seriously a living nightmare. But after that...well, my life was transformed. A few weeks into quitting the white stuff, I found that my skin started glowing, pesky little wrinkles faded into oblivion, my energy levels were soaring. Oh, and the weight literally dropped off me. All those stubborn, hard-to-shift pounds melted away, and my body looked leaner, tauter and more defined - and that was even before I started exercising!

So, do you want to join us? Here are our top tips for going sugar-free this September - let's do it!

Sam x

P.S If you really can't go cold turkey and are looking for healthier sugar alternatives, read my blog on Lucy Bee Coconut here. 

TOP TIPS FOR GIVING UP SUGAR

Source

1) Sweeten With Cinnamon

Not only does cinnamon add a natural sweetness and spice to your food, but it also works at lowering blood sugar levels, meaning it will help to prevent spikes. Try stirring it into coffee, porridge or even adding to dishes such as chilli to feel the full effects.


2) Get Your 8 Hours of Sleep

I know, I know. Easier said than done, right? I'm really bad at this one, BUT lack of sleep means your body's hunger hormones go haywire. Levels of Ghrelin - which triggers the hunger sensation - increase, while Leptin - which makes you feel full or satisfied - plummet, leaving us more likely to reach for the Starmix.


3) Eat a High Protein Breakfast

We all know that we should be breakfasting like Kings (or Queens) to help us feel our best throughout the day. If you start the day with a protein-packed breakfast, then your body will maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day. Scrambled eggs on rye bread toast are a fantastic option, or try adding protein powders (we love First Protein) to your morning smoothie if you like to keep it light.

Avocado
Source

4) Eat Plenty of Fats

I know, I know - we are going completely against the grain here; for years, you were told that fats make you fat. Quite simply, this isn't true. In fact, fats can help you lose weight. You see, fats help you to stay feeling full, which means you won't feel the urge to grab the chocolate biscuits. A great fat to try is Lucy Bee Coconut Oil - as a medium fatty chain acid, your body uses it for an instant energy boost, rather than storing it away as fat. Simply add to your favourite foods and go!


5) Quit Processed Foods

From tomato ketchup to pasta sauces, shop-bought yoghurts and cereals, the foods you find on the supermarket shelves are often loaded with sugar. Terrifying really, especially when many of these foods target your health-conscious dieter. Our advice? Make everything from scratch! If you cook for yourself, you can not only rustle up some incredibly healthy, tasty foods (we are huge fans of good, honest stews in winter), but you also know that you're not adding any unnecessary sugars to your diet.


6) Always Check the Labels

Many of the foods you buy that you think are good for you (Special K, we are looking at you!) are often high in sugar, meaning you'll put on weight rather than lose it. If you are unable to cook from scratch, then read the labels first - and also look for hidden sugars in the ingredients. Beware of anything ending in "ose"and the following ingredients are also names for sugar: Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diatase, Diatastic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado, Sorghum syrup, Refiner's syrup, Ethyl maltol, Maple syrup, Yellow sugar.


7) Don't Juice

Juicing is just another way of mainlining sugar, so try to avoid fruit juices, however good for you they might sound. If you do want to juice or make a smoothie, then try to do it using mainly vegetables instead of 100% fruits. If it's not sweet enough, try adding lemon or lime instead.


8) Rethink Your Snacks


Always wondered why you weren't losing weight? Check your snack drawer! Many of the snacks you thought were healthy - granolas, cereal bars, dried fruits - are actually full of sugars. Cut back and try snacking on avocado, nut butters or handfuls of nuts instead.









Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Secretly Healthy Sticky Toffee Pudding Fudge


One of my favourite puddings is gooey Sticky Toffee Pudding (remember this post from last year, featuring my recipe for best ever Sticky Toffee Pudding?) as it's so indulgent and comforting in the cooler months.

With the temperature plummeting already, I longed to recreate these flavours in a healthier way. Step forwards this deliciously gooey Sticky Toffee Pudding Fudge...

Made from my favourite toffee Nuts n More peanut butter, these little fudge bites are a fantastic, guilt-free way to treat yourself. Thanks to the addition of toffee whey and caramel flavouring, you can delight in all those deliciously comforting flavours, without killing your macros or diet.

Enjoy,

Sam x

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING FUDGE

Sticky Toffee Pudding Fudge


Ingredients:
2 scoops toffee whey protein
4 tbsp toffee Nuts n More peanut butter
3 tbsp ground almonds
3 tbsp gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp caramel favouring
One handful chopped and pitted Medjool dates
4 tbsp vanilla almond milk
Handful whey crispies
1 tbsp maple syrup

Method:
1) Mix together wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Stir the two together, then press into a lined load tin. Freeze to set, then cut into squares and enjoy!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Almond Protein Blondies


I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while as it's one of my favourite post-workout treats.

Raspberry and almond is one of my favourite flavour combinations, and there's never a better way to enjoy it than with a cup of tea and with a slice of cake.

These Raspberry, White Chocolate & Almond Protein Blondies are the perfect, guilt-free treat. Made with gluten-free oat flour and vanilla whey, they're fairly light but seriously moreish. I also threw in some delicious sugar-free Freeist white chocolate for good measure, but you can add whatever takes your fancy!

As ever, tweet us if you have a go at baking our creations!

Sam x

RASPBERRY, WHITE CHOCOLATE AND ALMOND PROTEIN BLONDIES 

Raspberry Protein Blondies


Ingredients:
1 cup oat flour (just blend together gluten-free oats in a processor)
2 scoops MaxiNutrition vanilla whey
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp stevia
1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tbsp honey
250g Co-Yo yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 handfuls fresh or frozen raspberries
1 handful flaked almonds
1 handful Freeist white chocolate, chopped into chunks

Method:
1) Preheat your oven to 180C, then grease and line a brownie tin. Mix together the oat flour, protein powder, baking powder and stevia. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg until frothy, then stir in the banana, honey, coconut yoghurt and extracts.

2) Stir through the raspberries and almonds then pour the mixture into the brownie tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with a vat of tea and enjoy!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Over 60 Fashion Picks - The Latest High Street Edit


Yay it's Friday, which only means one thing around here - the High Street Hitlist!

You are going to get a great fashion fix today because there are over 60 items for you to swoon over and add to your autumn wardrobe.

Unfortunately for us we are a bit skint at the moment and we desperately want to buy so many of this week's fashion picks. Why is it whenever you have no money you see loads of new clothes you know would look fab in your wardrobe?!

Anyway, feast your eyes on this week's high street top picks and let us know what you are going to buy.....we won't be too jealous, honest.

Teresa and Sam xxx

TOPSHOP


topshop spotty skirt
Spotty midi skirt, £55
velvet dress with contrast collar
Amelia dress by Little White Lies, £108
navy maxi skirt
Navy chiffon maxi skirt by Goldie, £46
gold flower skirt
Premium poppy lurex skirt, £40
dogtooth print dress
May dress by Jones and Jones, £50
moroccan style shirt
Marakesh folk shirt, £35
dogtooth check trousers
Shadow houndstooth cigarette trousers, £42
loose fit crop top
Tie back crop top, £32
long sleeve black dress
Claudia skater dress with embellishment, £70
cara delevigne leather trousers
High-waisted leather look trousers, £32
cara delevigne leopard skirt
Leopard print pelmet skirt, £38
aztec print jacket
Aztec blanket jacket, £58
cream satin jumpsuit
Floral paisley strap jumpsuit, £48
navy flower skirt
Blur rose midi skirt, £65
topshop short black jeans
Fray straight leg jeans by Boutique, £55
white laser top
Laser-cut embellished top, £45
white scallop top
Lace scallop top, £26
printed tube skirt
Tile printed tipped edge bodycon skirt, £25
grey jumper white necklace
Enamel necklace jumper, £46
red pleated dress
Pleated slip, £32
khaki printed shirt dress
Floral utility shirt dress, £42
white cropped shirt black collar
Richie crop top by TFNC, £20
black midi dress
Jersey midi dress, £24
lace panel skirt
Lace insert tube skirt, £32
black midi bandeau dress
Midi side zip bandeau dress, £34
patterned tube skirt
Animal print tube skirt, £22
fishnet dress
Fishnet hem dress, £29
white layered top
Double layer blouse, £36
rose print dress
Blur rose print satin A-line dress, £70

ASOS


light grey midi dress
Midi dress in knit, £38
fringed kimono navy
Kimono in floral print with fringing, £45
blush dress
Pencil dress with blouson and low V, £38
layered black dress
T-shirt dress with overlay, £28
checked coat
Only check print blazer, £70
lace playsuit
Jumpsuit with lace insert, £38
patterned skater dress
Digital floral skater dress, £75
black midi dress with flowers
Midi dress with pleated skirt in floral print, £55
white pencil dress
Pencil dress with shell top in texture, £42
bird print dress white
Skater dress with pretty bird print, £40
tomato red dress
Midi dress with pleated skirt, £42
green embroidered dress
Premium shift dress with embroidery, £65
green fedora hat
Catarzi exclusive to ASOS classic fedora hat, £35
ted baker hat
Ted Baker band detail felt fedora, £47

RIVER ISLAND


black satin scarf
Floral border print satin square scarf, £13
beige cropped shirt
Nude silky boxy cropped shirt, £26
dark tartan trousers
Navy tartan cigarette pants, £40

OASIS


grey oasis coat
Grey cocoon coat, £80

MANGO


mango beige cardigan
Wool-blend long cardigan, £29.99
mango red dress
Belted crepe dress, £44.99
lightning shirt
Lightning print shirt, £34.99
white collared black dress
Babydoll dress, £44.99
mango black waist dress
Lightweight dress, £39.99
leopard fur coat mango
Leopard faux fur coat, £79.99

WAREHOUSE


grey cricket jumper
Cricket jumper, £38
warehouse floral bandeau dress
Enlarged floral bandeau dress, £80
pink checked coat
Pink check coat, £95
fur hooded parka coat
Detachable contrast pocket parka, £90

ZARA


zara leather pleated skirt
Pleated midi skirt, £39.99
zara black wool blazer
Light wool blazer, £49.99
sheepskin mittens grey
Limited edition gloves, £39.99

FRENCH CONNECTION


french connection shirt dress
Misty mountain shirt dress, £125

TED BAKER


ted baker black collar dress
Parquet geo jersey dress, £139
ted baker white sleeve jumper
Embossed front jumper, £119
black leather bomber jacket
Textured bomber jacket, £199

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