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Food

In Food on
22nd December 2015

The Gluten Free Macaroni Cheese

maccheese
One of my most missed foods since I began to eat better is definitely Mac and Cheese. I mean the kind the comes in a box and you make in the microwave – heaven. While having a scroll through Instagram recently I came across a gram from Brittany Angell of an amaaaaze looking Mac and Cheese. I couldn’t help but wonder… is it time?

Two days later I went out and spent a lot more on dairy products than I normally would having IBD, and got to work on my gluten free Macaroni Cheese masterpiece. I took Brittany’s recipe for inspiration and then tried to alter it to fit what I could find in Tesco. Not only did I try to make this recipe gluten free, I tried to use ingredients that didn’t break the budget. I saw much nicer pasta at my local health store but it was double the price of the GF pasta I found at the supermarket. Given it’s not as good quality, but you’re about to eat a shit load of cheese so really, does it matter? On to the ingredients!

  • 1.5 bags GF penne or pasta of choice
  • 6 tblsps salted butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 4 tbspns plain GF flour
  • 2 tbspns corn flour
  • 2 cups double cream
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 4 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated red leister cheese
  • .5 cup parmesan cheese

*below you will see the photo I took of all the ingredients – some of which weren’t actually used.

macandcheese

Cook the pasta as you normally would (I add a bit of oil and salt to stop it sticking together). Once ready rinse thoroughly with cold water and set aside. While waiting for your pasta to cook you can start sautéing your onion in the butter over medium heat until caramelised (about 15 minutes). Add salt and peppers in the last 5 minutes. Don’t let the butter burn!
Stir in your flours next and make a roux, then next add your cream and milk – whisking continuously to remove any lumps. You can then start adding your cheese a cup at a time, continuing to whisk, until it is all melted. This took me about 10 to 15 minutes and I did it on a medium heat as I found when it got too cool it started getting too thick – but don’t have it too hot!
At this point I removed the sauce from the heat and added it to my pasta. Spend a bit of time making sure all your pasta is covered, then serve!

If you give the recipe a go I would love to hear how you went, or do you have your own amazing Mac and Cheese recipe? Let me know in the comments!

 

Sally xx

In Fitness, Food, Lifestyle, Wellbeing on
15th December 2015

Sugar – Yes please?

SUGARyesplease

Can I just say that I feel like a complete hypocrite writing this post. If I had a dollar for every time I have tried to quit sugar! I’m only human! I know I have spoken about this topic a few times on the blog, but it is something that continues to fascinate me. I’m now on a journey of moderation more so than restriction and that is what works for me, though I do plan to up the ante in 2016 – watch this space.

So why is sugar so bad for us? For a start it rots our teeth, promotes fat stores around the body and gives us highs and lows in energy. Ever heard somebody tell you that you NEED sugar for energy? Wrong. Sugar contains no essential nutrients that the body cannot receive in more nutrient dense sources. Sugar can overload the liver causing fatty liver disease – and this is not exclusive to the overweight community! These are just the start of the problems that sugar can cause us.

There are a couple of ways to measure how sugar can affect the body on a cellular level. Ever seen packages displaying that a food is ‘low GI’? GI stands for Glycemic Index, which is the measurement on carbohydrate containing foods and their impact on blood sugar. This is a relatively new way of looking at carbohydrates and blood sugar, looking at the direct impact foods have on our bodies. Studies have shown that a low-GI diet can reduce the risk of multiple health risks such as stroke, diabetes, depression and even cancer.

The reason I mention GI is because I recently came across a GI ‘guide’ for sweeteners. It lists a bunch of different the sweet things in life on a scale of lowest to highest Glycemic Index. Can you guess which is the highest and the lowest? The answer may not be what you would assume!

 

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Lower in GI than these examples you’ll find a lot of processed artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Stevia and Sucralose. Those these are low GI, artificial sweeteners have many people on the fence. Though deemed ‘safe’ for consumption, they are genetically modified chemicals that we are expected to injest. I stay well away from any kind of artificial sweetener – but that discussion is for another day.

GI is just one way we can measure how sugar effects our bodies, and as I said earlier sugar can be detrimental in many different ways. I feel as though I have talked myself around in a circle with this post, but my point was that sugar can effect us all differently and it has a largely negative impact. I think 2016 could be a new chapter for this journey of mine! Tell me about your sugar story in the comments?

 

Sally xx

 

In Fitness, Food, Lifestyle, Wellbeing on
8th December 2015

What is ‘healthy’?

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Firstly I apologise for the rant that is about to take place, but lately i’ve really started despising the word ‘healthy’. I’m struggled to get this post written because I’m not 100% sure why this subject frustrates me. It’s a word we see and use constantly – to describe lifestyle, foods or people. But what is healthy? Is it Paleo? Vegetarian? Skinny? Curvy? Does it have a 6 pack or a thigh gab? To me ‘healthy’ doesn’t exist, and over the past decade you can’t avoid seeing the word plastered everywhere – particularly on foods.

I think the main reason this word irritates me is because it is being used so freely! It’s not surprising, as I can imagine many people fall for the word, especially those on a weight loss journey. For example, do a search on Pinterest(you can see mine above) for the word ‘healthy’ and a huge variety of posts appear, most food related. Some of the titles include:

’20 Zero Calorie Foods’
‘ 10 Tummy Tightening Foods’
’13 Skinny Meals Under 300 Calories’
‘Cleansing Detox Soup’

I totally get that some of these recipes include somewhat nutritious ingredients… however I do not believe in cleansing, calorie restricting and certainly not ‘tummy tightening foods’! To me healthy is whole natural foods whenever possible but treating myself when I want to. I do not support restriction – though it may work for some people – and I do not get along with fake processed ‘low calorie’ foods.

Really I wanted to vocalise that seeing the word ‘healthy’ doesn’t always mean good health. My diet and lifestyle aren’t perfect, nobody can claim theirs is, but I try hard to look after myself. I always read the label on my food and I am aware of marketing. I get enough sleep, drink a lot of water and(try to)keep stress levels to a minimum. ‘Healthy’ doesn’t have to mean restriction – listen to your body.

This is just my opinion of what Healthy means to me. What does healthy mean to you?

 

Sally xx

In Food, How to, Wellbeing on
20th November 2015

Avocado and Dark Chocolate Brownies

AvoFinal
Avo haters – hear me out. If you’re a chocolataholic like me looking for a slightly less sugary version of a brownie, then you will love these babies. I’m not kidding when I tell you they are chocolate heaven. I first found this recipe thanks to UK vlogger Tanya Burr but I have since altered it a little. They are still a treat but aren’t as bad as majority of brownie recipes i’ve come across. Arguably the best part about these brownies is that they contain good fats, and for me that means I stay full a lot longer on a lot less food! And they’re flour free! Though some may say coconut sugar is no better than traditional table sugar, it has added benefits such as being low GI (won’t give you a blood sugar spike) and is not heavily processed like other sweeteners such as agave nectar. Now on to the recipe!

ingredientsIngredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 300g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more)
  • 1.5 cups coconut sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 mashed ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 pinch hymalan pink salt

Preheat your oven to 180.
Over low heat melt your chocolate and coconut oil together in a saucepan until combined and all melty. Remove from heat. Add the sugar, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and mashed avocado. Lastly stir in the eggs with the rest of the ingredients.
Line a small baking tray with baking paper. Spread out your mixture evenly in the tray and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Leave to cool for 30 minutes. Cut up and serve with fruit, ice cream or on their own!
I store half the batch in the fridge and the rest in the freezer or else we will finish the whole lot in a couple days!

Let me know if you give the recipe a go. They are a crowd fave in our house and if you’re a sweet tooth you will adore them!

 

Sally xx

In Food, Lifestyle, Soul, Wellbeing on
25th August 2014

Something Sweet #1 – Probally Truffles

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I’m no nutritionist but i’d say everyone needs a lil protein in their life. Since i’m such a sweet tooth I spend a fair chunk of my time in the kitchen creating treats that are low in sugar, dairy and gluten free, and as close to Paleo as possible.

The following recipe I tweaked from one i’ve seen on a bodybuilding website. Now… you don’t need to be a pumping iron to treat yourself to one of these. I used one standard scoop of Chocolate protein powder for the whole batch and these are much better for your bellies that all the other treats you might find in the supermarket.

 Ingredients:
– 1 x scoop chocolate protein powder of choice
–  1/2 cup rolled oats
– 1/2 cup almond meal
– 1/2 cup raisins
– 2 tblsp 85% organic dark chocolate powder (check the ingredients list for any added SUGAR they try to sneak in)
– 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
– 1 tspn cinnamon
– 1 tbsp peanut butter
– dash almond milk
– a little extra almond meal & cocoa for rolling
– 1 x pair of latex gloves

Now lets get technical.. throw everything in a bowl. Mix mix mix until combined. Add almond milk as required to get the mixture to a doughy type consistency.

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Now you will need your gloves and the extra almond meal & cocoa. Wearing gloves stops the mixture sticking to your hands. Roll your balls to whatever size you want – I like mine to be bite sized. Alternate rolling them in your almond meal and cocoa to form cute little truffle treats! I pop mine in a container and straight into the fridge to set. If you’re in a rush you can put them in the freezer for a half hour. You can store them in the fridge or about a week or the freezer for a couple months.

Magnifique!

xx SBB