Newsletter 9th February 2016


It’s pancake day today in the UK which means tomorrow is the start of lent. Last year I gave up refined sugar for 40 days and it was tough, especially when eating out as sugar is in so many sauces, salad dressings and of course desserts. This year I’m not giving up anything, instead I’m going to be giving. 40 acts of generosity over 40 consecutive days. Probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever set myself!

In the meantime I have a super easy pancake recipe that’s healthy too.

Banana Pancakes
Makes 6-8
Ingredients

  • 2 ripe medium sized bananas
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon (more if you really love your cinnamon flavour)
  • 3-5 tbsp almond milk (more or less, depending on how thick/thin you like your pancakes)

Instructions:

  1. In a large sized bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher until the desired consistency is achieved (if you prefer chunks of banana in your pancakes, don’t overdo the mashing!). Mix in the coconut oil, eggs and vanilla, and combine all together until blended evenly.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet, until everything is fully mixed.
  4. Begin by adding in some almond milk to check the consistency of your batter. If your batter needs to be thinned out some more, add in more milk.
  5. Preheat your pan over medium heat and add in some coconut oil.
  6. Using a measuring cup, pour the desired amount of batter into you pan for the pancakes
  7. When the top surface has a good amount of bubbles (usually about 5 or so minutes later), and the edges are starting to look almost cooked through (no longer wet looking), using your spatula and flip it over. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the pancake is cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
  8. Serve hot with honey or maple syrup, berries and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

 

Sport Relief 2016
We are now up to 260 miles and the sponsorship has taken off THANK YOU! It has been received so well by the members of New Dimensions Fitness, even the newcomers! I’m so proud of everyones efforts towards this challenge. We were on ‘catch up’ last week from the previous weeks 12 mile deficit, we managed to hit target last week but only did 8 of the added 12 so just 4 to carry over into this week. We have faced some windy miles as storms batter the UK but it hasn’t stopped, in fact we would really love your suggestions to make each mile a little tougher. Tina, Michelle and I have completed a mile wearing a weight vest as a client kindly donated if we were to complete the request… So fire away. Would you like to see any of our members or us do something similar?? We will carry out the request upon a donation to sport relief… Please be kind though eh?!!
Paradise Bars V’s Bounty
Our members have been sharing healthy recipes and the favourite so far is a paradise bar (basically a healthy version of bounty.) But wait, they’re healthy right so I can eat more? Actually no, over eating is still going to make you store body fat, but it’s good to know the difference between your healthy ones compared to the original.

Tina has been on the case and has the following findings for you:

I compared the macros in both recipes and made 30 portions. The comparison is with 1 bounty portion and 1 paradise portion.

PB 151kcal BTY 134kcal
PB 14.7 fat (87.6%) BTY 6.5 fat (43.65%)
PB 1.4 protein (3.7%) BTY 1 protein (2.98%)
PB 3.2 carb (8.4%) BTY 18 carb (53.73%)

Initially it looks as though the bounty is better for us as it’s lower calories and lower fat. However, a bounty is over 50% sugar! The paradise bar isn’t even 10%!

Now you may think, if you are counting calories, that you are still better off with the bounty. NOT TRUE. Our bodies can process fat, our bodies can use sugar as energy, although unused sugar will be stored as fat. Our bodies can not process fat & sugar at the same time (a bounty is pretty much 50/50) which means all our bodies will do with a bounty is store it as fat.

Hope you find the information useful and enjoy your paradise bars responsibly. All figures are approximate. If you would like the recipe to these amazing snack bars just click here.
Are You An Emotional Eater?
If you are struggling with emotional eating, you’re not alone. I catch myself doing it at times of stress and pressure. Typically, when we eat due to emotions, it’s common to “check-out” and just not be present.

If you stopped and asked yourself “Am I really hungry?” What would the answer be?

Here are 5 tips to help you put an end to emotional eating:
Don’t keep junk in the house.
When there is tempting junk food in the house, emotional eating becomes too easy. Case in point, you come home after an awful day at work and the whole ride home all you can think about is drowning your sorrows in the pint of Ben & Jerry’s that you know is in the freezer. The food ends up serving as a trigger- so just get rid of it.
Find a healthier alternative.
Instead of focusing on grabbing ice cream when you get home, you need to find a substitute. Instead of reaching for food when you’re stressed, take the dog out for a walk or talk about how stressful your day was with your partner or best friend.

When you create new behaviors, you actually create new neural pathways- which means that you create new habits. So long Ben & Jerry, hello gym kit
Restock your kitchen
It’s much easier to grab for healthy food when you are hungry if it’s on hand and in sight. Research shows that people who leave healthy foods in plain sight make better food choices. Some ways that you can implement this for yourself: A bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter. Cut up veggies and keep them handy with some hummus at eye level in the fridge. If coffee is a trigger for an unhealthy muffin or cake, see if you can substitute your coffee for a green smoothie.

Take a seat
If you are going to eat, you must sit your bottom down at the table. When you plate your food, whether it is a meal or a snack, you are able to eat more mindfully. Think about the last time you sat in front of the TV or computer with food. Do you actually remember eating the food? How about feeling satisfied?

When you sit down and actually pay attention to what you are eating and how much you are eating, the tendency is to eat less because you are able to notice those signals that get sent from your stomach to your brain telling you that you are “full” — and when you are in touch with your body’s signals, you naturally stop yourself from overeating.
Be kind to yourself.
Find other things to nourish yourself. I love to light scented candles, it helps set a nice relaxing mood! Maybe you like scented soaps or fresh flowers. A soft blanket to curl up while you sip your tea after your meal. I know you might feel a sense of control when you eat what you want and be damned with everyone else, but afterwards, the guilt and emotions surrounding the incident make you beat yourself up incessantly. Take the opportunity that you have to be kind to yourself and surround yourself with things that make you feel good.
And Finally…
Thought Of The Week…
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength” – Criss Jami

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