Spice Up Your Rice!

spice up your rice

Apologies to everyone who’s been asking for recipes recently, I moved house this week so blogging kinda went out the window. BUT, as of today, my content will be much more frequent and I’ve got tons of fab recipes to share.

As anyone who follows me on twitter will know, I’m currently doing a clean bulk. My PT has increased my intake of complex carbs by about tenfold and after two weeks, I’m pretty god damn bored of sweet potatoes and rice. So for the past week I’ve been trying to find ways to jazz it up, while keeping it clean.

This is the first part of the INCREDIBLY exciting mini series ‘Spice up your rice’ (I know, try to contain yourselves…) I’ll post 4 ways I’ve started eating rice which helps me on my way to hitting my massive 400g daily carb target, without going insane. For those of you who meal prep, you can still cook a giant batch of plain rice, then portion it up and add the flavouring ingredients afterwards. First up, Spicy tomato rice.

Ingredients:

  • Rice (I used 75-100g wholegrain rice per serving for this)
  • 3-4 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2 peppers (I used 1 red, 1 yellow, for sweetness and colour).
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1/2 chilli (optional)

Method:

Cook the rice according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, finely chop the peppers and chilli, if using. Slice up the spring onions, but separate the green and white parts.

Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add a little oil. Add the white parts of the spring onions and when softened, add the diced peppers. If you like it really hot, add the chilli now too. If not, add it cold at the end. Once the veggies are softened, but still retain their shape, add the tomato puree and rice. Mix everything up well, so the puree colours the rice, and allow the rice to fully heat through. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the green parts of the spring onions for crunch.

This is great with a chicken breast and chipotle sauce if you’re stuck for a decent dinner and need to hit some macros.

Don’t forget to tweet me some pics if you make any of my recipes! Next up…Sticky coconut rice with coriander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Eat: Minimal Effort Macro Shopping List

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Sticking to nutritional goals is a massive challenge for most people, from those who compete professionally to those who are battling weight loss. With the amount of effort meal prep and macros can be, it’s no wonder, a full-time job and regular training routine takes up enough time as it is, before you’ve even thought about what you’re eating or feeding the rest of your family.

Unfortunately, when you start training properly, it becomes pretty obvious that the gym does not ‘free’ up calories for you to replace as soon as you get back to the fridge and if you want to reach whatever goal you’ve set yourself, nutrition is of equal importance to your workout, as well as playing a vital role in keeping you motivated and energised.

To make it all a little easier, I have a list that I order online when I’m short of time, can’t be bothered to think, too tired etc etc. It’s like that show Ready, Steady, Cook! Lay it all out, grab things and you’ve got a decent meal with minimal effort. My list comprises mostly of unrefined carbs, healthy fats and protein. These mostly whole ingredients can be made into a variety of easy, nutritionally balanced meals when you’re struggling.

It’s not perfect, as you can see I’m not a massive fan of fruit and dark green veg (oooops), but this is what fits my macros, doesn’t cost the earth and also what I won’t have to kid myself I like and then end up throwing in the bin (KALE).

shopping list

A few(but not all) ideas:

Breakfasts:

  • eggs + spinach + peppers = omelet
  • Total Greek + blueberries + oats + maple syrup
  • oats + blueberries + milk + maple syrup = porridge
  • steak + eggs

Lunches:

  • hot smoked salmon fillet + spinach + quinoa salad
  • avocado + chicken breast + quinoa salad
  • tuna + hard boiled eggs + spinach salad
  • wholewheat pasta + spring onions + tuna salad with creme fraiche mayo
  • baked sweet potato + cottage cheese

Dinners:

Desserts:

  • Total Greek + maple syrup + chocolate + blueberries
  • All the above frozen = frozen yoghurt
  • melted chocolate + almonds/brazils/pecans from mixed nuts
  • avocado + chocolate + maple syrup = rich chocolate mousse
  • chocolate rice cakes + Total Greek + blueberries

 

Most supermarkets allow you to save lists like this online, so you can literally just book a slot and press a button and your food arrives the next day. This is a god send if you’re pushed for time. Or not, I mean who actually wants to spend any time in the supermarket anyway?! To make your own list, check your MyFitnessPal or keep a food diary for 7 days. Work out what you eat the most of and how versatile these ingredients are and then just save it all, with a few options (as above) stuck on the fridge. It will seriously stop post-gym binges, late night take-outs & the hours of beating yourself up that usually follow.

It’s a bit of effort, but saves you a lot along the way..if you try it, tweet me & let me know how you get on x

My Daily Diet

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This post is for all the lovely girls who ask me what I eat & how much of it! Unfortunately it’s quite hard for women to know how much we should eat, what and when particularly if you’re trying to lose weight. Women’s media has reported for so long that if you eat a low calorie diet, you’ll be skinny. While it’s largely true that if you burn more calories than you take in, your weight will drop; eating half the recommended daily allowance isn’t the answer for most of us.

I didn’t realise how little I was eating until I started using MyFitness Pal to log my food and count my macros. I was really low on energy when I started training regularly and would crash out as soon as I got in from the gym. It was difficult to start eating my recommended daily calories, it felt like my stomach wasn’t big enough and I had to remind myself to make time to eat actual meals instead of my 1 meal a day and a bunch of snacks. I think this is the case for so many women and a lot of girls who contact me about diet & workouts are confused about why they don’t look how they want to when they’re hardly eating. Even if you don’t want to count macros all the time, it’s a good starting point to make a habit of it for a few months, until you build up an awareness of what to eat, how much and how often to make yourself feel healthier and stronger. Diet is absolutely integral to reaching aesthetic goals & building a basic understanding of nutrition is really important if you’re looking for optimum results from your workout. Training and diet is a vital partnership, results won’t be at their best if you have one without the other. Once you’ve built a foundation, you won’t have to log and count everything unless you want to, or you’re training specifically for something.

It took me a while to start to recognise the nutritional profile of certain foods and when I did I found I was eating more or less the same thing all the time just to hit macros. Now, I try and vary it and try new things by substituting the standard rice and chicken for other grains and lean meats like quinoa or turkey. Still, there are certain things I order every time I shop and I’ll do a post later in the week about what they are and why I rely on them.

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This is a typical food diary for me, I’m 5’5″, weigh 56kg with 17% body fat and eat 2200-2300kcal a day, with a macro split of approx 241g carbs, 165g protein and 64g fat. Sometimes I switch it up so it’s lower carb & higher fat, but try to stick to weekly macros, including if I decide to have a cheat meal.

Breakfast Calories Carbs Fat Protein Iron Sugar
3 Egg Omelette with spinach 210 1 15 19 0 1
210 1 15 19 0 1
Lunch

Chicken & Cashew nuts with broccoli

Sainsbury’s – Chicken Diced Breast, 150 g 236 0 6 45 0 0
Small Handful – Cashew Nuts, 25 g 146 6 11 6 0 2
Sainsburys – Brown Rice, 60 g uncooked 212 43 2 5 0 0
594 49 19 56 0 2
Dinner: Herb crusted grilled chicken w/sweet potato mash, kale & spinach
Mashed Sweet Potato (W/o Skin, Boiled), 250 grams 190 45 0 5 4 0
Sainsburys – Chicken Breast Fillet Portions –  150 g 207 0 3 46 0 0

397 45 3 51 4 0
Snacks
Cnp – Pro Peptide protein shake 1 X 3 Scoop Serving, 3 Scoops 230 6 3 45 0 3
Sainsbury’s – 1% Fat Milk, 350 ml 151 17 4 13 0 17
Petit Filous Strawberry – 50g Pot, 100 g 96 13 2 5 0 12
Blueberries – Raw, 25 g 14 4 0 0 0 2
Metcalfe’s Skinny Topcorn – Sweet N’ Salt Popcorn, 25 g bag 115 18 5 2 0 5
Green and Blacks Organic – Mini Chocolate Bars, 15 g bar 84 7 5 1 0 0
Sainsbury’s – 1% Fat Milk, 200 ml 86 10 2 7 0 10

792 78 21 73 0 49
Intra Workout
Haribo – Tangfastics, 40 g 136 31 0 3 0 24
136 31 0 3 0 24
Totals 2,129 204 58 202 4 76
Your Daily Goal 2,200 248 61 165 100 77
Remaining 71 44 3 -37 96 1
Calories Carbs Fat Protein Iron Sugar

Macro right for your type!

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Forget calories, if you want to buff up, you need to start counting your macros. Macronutrients refer to your daily protein, carbohydrate (including sugars) and fat intake. They are basically a solid way of eating healthily and ensuring your body gets  all the energy and power it needs to function within your daily calorie intake.

Macros are especially important if you’re trying to change your body. When I first joined the gym, one of my primary reasons was so I could look good but still eat what I liked. When my results quickly hit a plateau and I sought help from a PT and the internet (of course, who wouldn’t?!) I discovered that unfortunately, you can work out every day of your life, but if your diet sucks, your body will too.

I felt incredibly tired after workouts, when what I was actually hoping for was a new lease of energy and life. Why was I spending £50 a month and lifting all these weights if I was sabotaging myself in the kitchen as soon as I got home?

I committed to change my diet in January and since amping up my strength training (more on this coming soon) I’ve been really into counting macros. Knowing I am getting the right amount of protein for toned, lean muscle, enough carbs for energy and the right amount of healthy fat to keep me feeling full makes me feel like I’m making the most out of my workout. I feel healthier and full of energy, no matter how late I have to stay at work, or how early I have to get up. They say abs are built in the kitchen and since counting macro’s my tummy is flat every day!

The key to tracking macros is simple now that there are so many great nutrition apps. How far you get into it depends on your lifestyle and goals. You can track macros simply, or you can work out your split per meal and get really rigid with it. Generally though, unless you’re training 5+ times a week, keeping it simple will help you maintain it as part of your lifestyle.

So if you want more energy, better results from your workout and increased strength and fitness, start in your kitchen.

1. Find your body type

Everyone’s body is different and will require a different calorie intake. Find out whether your body shape is Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph. Superskinnyme is helpful if these words look like Spanish to you, they even have a calculator.

2. Know what you need  for your body type:

The values below are based on a sustainable body fat loss of 1/2 a kilogram a week. If you want to maintain your current body fat (this is not weight, but the percentage of your body which is just fat) then you can increase your calorie intake slightly, by up to 500 Kcal per day.

An Ectomorph female of 50kg will need around 2050 calories a day and the macro breakdown will be as follows:

Protein – 150g    Carbs – 227g    Fat – 60g

For every 10kg of weight, add 300 calories, 30g protein, 8g fat and 27g of carbs.

A Mesomorph female of 50kg will need around 1780 calories a day, with macro breakdown of:

Protein – 150g    Carbs – 201g    Fat – 42g

For every 10kg of weight, add 30g protein, 6g fat and 21g carbs.

An Endomorph female of 50kg will need around 1540 calories a day and the macro breakdown will be as follows:

Protein – 150g    Carbs – 132g    Fat – 46hg

For every 10kg of weight, add 30g protein, 8g fat and 11g carbs.

3. Track your macro intake!

Download the My Fitness Pal App, a kind of high-tech food diary. You just type in what you’re eating, or even better, scan the barcode using your phone camera and it automatically registers all of the macro nutrients and also the micro nutrients too (vitamins and minerals). You can click on the pie chart button and basically ensure you’re meeting your daily intake.

Macro Tips:

If I’m planning dinner out and know what I’m having (ie. a massive, greasy burger…) I try to log ahead of time, so I can still have a treat and ensure the rest of my food that day fits into my macros…guilt free!

If you’re not used to training or working out regularly, 150g protein will seem like a lot. I sometimes need 2 protein shakes to meet that if I’m not having a lot of meat or fish that day. If getting a lean, toned look is your primary goal, protein is your most important macro to meet and you may want to consider shakes for convenience. Otherwise, get used to carrying turkey breasts around in your pocket for an opportune snack.

I hope this guide has made macros friendly and simple. If you use it or want any advice, comment, contact or tweet me!

 

Macaroni Cheese & Bacon

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Dark nights, rainy days, leaving the house with two pairs of shoes, an umbrella and 3 coats (plus 6 boxes of Kleenex)…Winter is about to hit us with a big icy sledgehammer and suddenly a salad just isn’t cutting it as a side dish anymore, let alone an entire evening meal. Whenever I’m feeling slightly sorry for myself, or my boyfriend (this is his favourite) Mac Cheese & Bacon always puts me right. It takes a bit of effort but it’s always, always worth the payoff. It should come with some kind of health warning though – there is pretty much nothing about this dish that is good for your body, but everything about it is good for your soul.

I always freehand this, as quantities can vary according to how stodgy you want it. Just make sure the little macaroni’s are smothered in the cheese sauce before you bake it, otherwise it will be exceptionally dry.

Method:

Heat a saucepan gently and add a tablespoon or so of butter. When it has just melted, add some plain flour and mix to a glossy paste to make a roux. Keep mixing the for 2 mins or so, taking it off the heat temporarily if it gets too dry or thick. This cooks off the floury taste some white sauces can have.

Slowly add some warm milk, stirring continuously until it thickens. Keep adding and waiting for it to thicken until you have the quantity of sauce you want. Meanwhile, put the macaroni on to boil acording to packet instructions. Season to taste with black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper or mustard powder. Add a TONNE of mature grated cheddar (I use 3/4 of a regular block for 2 people….) and then grate some Parmesan in too (no, really). Stir in until melted and re-season if necessary. The cheese should be salty enough.

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Stir the cooked macaroni shapes into the sauce. Transfer to a baking dish of your choice and grate MORE Parmesan on top!

Whack it under a medium-hot grill for 15 mins or so, until the top is turning crusty. Lay bacon rashers on top and grill again until the bacon is crispy. Serve with a crisp, crunchy salad (because its not quite Winter just yet).

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