Monday, 26 October 2015

Battle Of The Belly - Mastering A Clean Diet With Shallow Pockets & A Busy Life

Hello Party People,

Slightly delayed blog because I've actually been too busy to sit down and write one. If I'm completely honest last week I had a mini meltdown because of how overwhelmingly crazy busy I have become. That being said forgive me if this blog comes across slightly erratic, I'm currently in the about-to-shave-my-hair-off-like-Britney phase of life. Thankfully my lovely sister and two cousins treated me to a Thai massage this weekend which done me the world of good. Don't get me wrong it wasn't one bit relaxing, she basically beat me up, but somewhere between her kneeling on my arse and toeing my shoulder blades I found a sense of calm.

I don't want to seem ungrateful or moany, I really shouldn't complain, being busy is amazing and I love to work like this. However as of recent, basic human rights have gone out the window, such as the time to have a cuppa with my friends, even getting the time to
wash my hair has become a struggle, so writing a blog went right to the bottom of the pile.
Luckily I have a sneaky half an hour so I'm going to use this blog post as a little form of therapeutic writing and meditation through words.

Some of the highlights of my crazy busy week include a Strength workshop held by Gymbox PT Ashleigh Lawrence. It was the perfect Sunday morning for a gym weirdos like me and Lilly, going through squats, Deadlifts, Farmers Walks and other strength exercises with a group of fitness bloggers/PT's etc.

The event was also sponsored by Reebok which meant we all got loads of amazing new gym gear gifted to us (which is never a bad thing) and on top of that, we were even gifted healthy food from Fresh Fitness Foods for after which was delicious. I chose the healthy fry up with Turkey Bacon, Quinoa Bread, Mushroom, Egg and Spinach. They label simply the calorie and fat content on the front of the pre-packed meals, and were not only delicious, but also guilt free.








I also had a hardcore, (well-needed) workout with my two favourite strong blondes on Saturday. 


Besides that, in general I have really been trying to eat clean and improve my abs (as seen below)... which brings me to today's topic - Diet! 



Today I'm going to talk about diet and my moan about being busy is directly related to this. I've had to write up 6 diet plans in the past week, with all my girls keeping a food diary for a week before I wrote up the plan. Off the back of that I noticed that there seems to be several reoccurring issues as to why people struggle so much with diet.

1. Time - or lack of it
2. Understanding - which foods are good and which are bad
3. Cost - especially of healthy options.

When you work a long day, and get home shattered, the last thing you want to do is meal prep lunch for tomorrow. You might go gym after work, you might cook dinner, you might want to lay on the sofa and watch corrie, but the last thing you're going to want to do is get tupperware boxes out and start preparing your food for the next day. I understand this. To give you a little idea of why I understand this I'll explain to you my day. I usually wake up at my boyfriends at about 6.30, I then go home get ready get to the train station and get into work in a PR agency in central london by 9. I work there until 4, rush home, have clients from half 5 and then usually I don't get home to cook my lunch/dinner until about half 10. Believe me, I understand how difficult it is to manage a busy day without stopping off at McDonalds and shoving a McChicken sandwich in your gob. However you have to understand if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

The easiest thing to do when you're career driven and short of time is to run into Pret and grab a sandwich, convincing yourself that its not THAT bad because there's one tomato and three pieces of spinach. Nuh-uh honey, most of them are lathered in mayonnaise and are about 500 -700 calories, and that's before your latte (173 calories) and packet of crisps (218 calories). Wam bam over 1000 calories done in an hour, thank you mam.

Also bare in mind some foods are high in calories that you would never even dream of, a banana for example is equal in calories to a kit-kat at around the 110 calorie mark. And with women expected to have no more than 2000 calories a day on average, and those of you who are aiming to lose weight/blast fat looking at a calorie deficit of maybe 1600-1800 calories a day, it really is important to understand what you can eat and what you shouldn't over eat on.

Recently a company called Mindful Chef partnered up with me and Lilly Sabri on our boot camp, offering all the girls who took part a meal prep box. Companies like this are fantastic to those of you who like me, enjoy cooking your own food, but don't always have the time to think up long winded recipes or go out and get the ingredients.

With Mindful Chef, they send you three recipes, with every ingredient needed from meat, to veg, to seasoning's and a step by step guide to cook the dish. Each dish is for one person but they always give you more than you need ingredients wise, suggesting you double up the ingredients if you want to cook for two. Now here's what I've been doing, doubling up to cook both my dinner for the evening and lunch for the next day at the same time. Einstein over here. Below are some pictures to show what meals I had last week, all took about 20 minutes to cook and were delicious. All their products are fresh and sourced from British farms, and HEALTHY! There was nothing bad in all three meals apart from a tiny sprinkle of parmesan to top the baked dish. If like me you're not very creative in the kitchen, want new ideas, but don't have the time to go and recipe shop this could be your answer. The box costs £24 a week, and arrives on Sunday evening delivered straight to your door. Just in time to cook your Monday lunch. Even though £24 a week might sound a lot, you have to consider what you would spend on 3 dinners and 3 lunches. On average a lunch on-the-go in London could easily be about £8 all in, so when you look at it like that, with that £24 you get double the meals for the price of your lunch, so really you are saving money in the long run.


Mindful Chef Box and Ingredients
Further Ingredients


Recipe 1





Recipe 2





Recipe 3



If however you don't think meal prep companies are the way forward for you and you do want to eat healthy/have the time to cook I have one recommendation for you - ALDI.

Aldi are cheap as chips on all the things Tesco mark up in price. Fruit, veg, salmon, chicken, steak etc. Aldi is basically a gym goers dream. Don't get me wrong, I too would like to think of myself as an M&S girl, but in real life, I would end up fat... and poor.

Aldi are extremely cost efficient on almost everything from Vita Coco for £1.99 usually about £3.99 in Tesco, to strawberries and blueberries for £1. Prawns are £1.89 Tesco they're £4, salmon and mackerel are under £3... basically anything healthy most shops charge up, Aldi seem to charge down. I've been told this is because of their efficiency in employees, limited stock on sale, own brand labels and making use of boxes over shelves, meaning less employees are needed to keep restocking the shelves. Whatever the reason, it works for me.

Below is a shop I done at Aldi which cost less than £20.....




The point of this post isn't how to be a cheapskate, it's just to show you there are no excuses for a bad diet. Healthy food is cheap and easily available, there are meal prep services on offer everywhere and you have to remember you wont get that dream body you want if you are filling it with crap.

Read a little bit more and alternatively download the app My Fitness Pal (logo below on app store). It is amazing for tracking your daily food intake, I promise you will be shocked by some of the foods you think are good for you but are actually full of salt, sugar or e-numbers.



Good luck, I hope I've helped to kick start your healthy eating week :)

Ciara




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