What’s the Right Diet for You?

Hello, hello!

So, who’s been watching the BBC Horizon special, What’s the Right Diet for You? It’s a programme looking at why different people over-eat and therefore what might work for them as a diet. They’ve taken a sample set of people and run them through a series of tests to calculate what sort of eater they are.

They’ve broken down the group into 3 subsets, which are:

  • Emotional Eater
  • Feaster
  • Constant Craver

They’re fairly self explanatory by name and the BBC have also created an online test you can take to approximate which of these categories you are likely to fall into. You can find the test here.

I have taken the test and found myself to be 39% Feaster and 61% Constant Craver. Essentially, this means that I’m likely to have a genetic disposition which drives me to continually graze, with less interest in / ability to sit down and eat big meals.

Genetic or not, it certainly rings true that I do constantly graze. Where it’s gone wrong is that most people I know tend to eat square meals. What this means is that I end up doing both!!! The recommended diet for Constant Cravers is the 5:2 diet where you fast for 2 days a week and eat normally (with a healthy spin) for the other 5 days. Given that my bf has just started doing this anyway, I may as well give it a bash.

The idea is that it’s much easier to control your cravings for 2 days a week than it is to try and do it, yet fail every day. Knowing you can have that treat, but you just need to wait 2 days is far easier than eliminating it altogether. It should have clicked sooner but it didn’t. Every way I think about it, this option suits me much better than constantly telling myself “no” as I reach for a snack every 10 minutes!!!

So here I go again in my quest to find a more balanced lifestyle that allows me to shed a few lbs. And no, they didn’t say exercise was the key to weight-loss, they said reducing your calorie intake is the way forward. So you exercise nuts can jog on (geddit!?!) x

Juicing for Wellness, Days 4 & 5

Homemade Vegetable Curry

Homemade Vegetable Curry

I may as well have just walked into a confession box because what I’m about to say isn’t good. I fell off the wagon big time yesterday. I was hungry, it was the weekend, I wanted to eat something familiar. I’m sorry!

In the interest of being open and honest, I may as well confess that yesterday morning I ate a couple of chocolate biscuits. Then at around 3pm I ate a burrito. It had pork, rice, guacamole, sour cream, pinto beans, peppers, cheese and a heck of a lot of flavour in it. It completely flouted the diet rules but it tasted sooooooooo good! It also gave me the motivation to buck up my ideas and get back on track. Well, that plus my bf watching me and telling me that I want to be healthy, not full of sugar.

So for dinner last night I had a corn on the cob and another bowl of my tomato and garlic soup. I’m back on course. Go me!

Today has been somewhat challenging as it’s been my first day back in the office and things are a bit slow after the Christmas break so I’ve had lots of time to think about food and stare at the chocolate bars and biscuits in the kitchen. On the plus side though, I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in months now that my cold is clearing and I’ve had some rest and good food for a few days.

Today’s menu has been much better:

Breakfast – strawberry, raspberry and blueberry smoothie made with just fruit and water

Lunch – tomato and garlic soup

Dinner – vegetable curry

Snacks – an apple, a clementine and some lemon & ginger tea

It’s not very juicy, I admit but it is bloody healthy!

I’ve posted the recipe for my homemade vegetable curry over on another of my blogs. You can find it here. It’s pretty quick and easy to knock up even on a school night and it’s bloody lovely. Not only that but there’s enough left for tomorrow night too. You’ll notice if you read it that I even experimented with the cauliflower rice that everyone’s talking about at the moment. It was pretty darned scrummy, if I do say so myself!

Happy eating, everyone. Just remember that falling off the wagon doesn’t matter, it’s about making a gradual change to improve the quality of what you consume. It’s not a race! x

Juicing for Wellness, Day 3

I did it, I went home and I weighed myself. I was expecting to weight about 11st 7lbs as I feel like I’ve been putting on even more weight recently so it was a pleasant surprise to weight in at 11st 1lb. That’s basically half a stone less for me to lose 🙂

So, the update on the juicing and the life with it. Here’s what happened on Day 2 following my blog post that day.

Breakfast was the carrot, apple and ginger juice which was pretty delicious.

Lunch was a change up. Instead of juice for lunch, I made a tomato and garlic soup, the recipe for which I found in a different version of the juice plan I was following. It was a smidge on the bland side but it was decent enough that the bf joined me in having some. You can find the recipe here.

Tomato and Garlic Soup for 2

Tomato and Garlic Soup for 2

We took the dog on a couple of walks yesterday and my energy was a bit low so I snacked on an apple and some grapes throughout the day and drank a fair bit of fruit tea.

By the time dinner came around, my cold had got the better of me so I had a chicken breast salad. My chicken was flavoured with paprika and cooked in a tiny bit of olive oil, my salad was without dressing. The leaves and avocado tasted better than ever because I was so deprived of food!

You’ll notice that my juice diet has strayed a little way off the juice track so I tried to bring it a bit more under control today, (day 3) but I was out and about so it’s been another compromise.

Breakfast – blueberry, raspberry and strawberry smoothie made with just fruit and water

Lunch – juice from Fuel juice bar, made with carrot, celery, apple and ginger

Dinner – chicken, mash and low-mayo coleslaw with a side salad, (we went out for dinner)

I’m not sure if it’s the cold/sore throat or the diet or both but I’ve been feeling mighty tired. My tummy is still bloated, I ache and all I want to do is sleep. I’ve added meat back into my diet in the hope that eating protein-based meals as well as juicing will help me pick myself back up but it’s proving challenging. I just want to snoooooooooooze! Still, I must keep pressing on because I don’t want to be this size and feel this unwell all the time. I CAN DO IT. PMA!

Until next time…  x

Juicing for Wellness, Day 2

Carrot, Apple and Ginger Juice

Carrot, Apple and Ginger Juice

I’m still alive!!! I honestly thought at one point yesterday that I might die before I got to post today because I was so hungry and so tired.

As promised, this is an honest account of my juicing experience so here’s a run down of what’s happened in the last 24 hours.

Day 1:

Breakfast – Carrot, Apple and Lemon juice
This juice was bloody lo
vely and when I posted yesterday morning, I really thought I could do it.

Lunch – Cucumber, Apple, Kale and Parsley juice
By lunch time (12pm) yesterday, I was blinkin’ starving and this juice just did not hit the mark. As separate ingredients I like all of the components but as a juice, this was green yuk. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever tasted but it did nothing to entice me to drink it either. I was ready to give up, I was grumpy and I had to re-evaluate.

As always with me on any sort of diet or healthy eating plan, I find that I am instantly grumpy and dreading the rest of the programme. With a cold as well as what felt like a starvation plan, yesterday was unbearable. I took a cold, hard look at what I want to achieve and came up with these priorities:

  1. Health – I’m fed up of feeling tired, looking tired and having a pregnancy bump sized bloated tummy
  2. Weight Loss – I have clothes I can no longer fit into. This is new to me and I HATE IT
  3. Sustainability – Yo-yo dieting just isn’t a good idea, what I want is to change the way I think about food and actually use food to nourish me, not just to feed my sugar cravings

Once I’d prioritised, I looked at my options again. I could juice for weeks on end, making food the enemy, feeling grouchy, probably bingeing on junk along the way, OR I could make the plan work for me. Now let me share what I had for dinner…

Dinner – Corn on the cob, lightly cooked broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts with garlic and chilli, with a handful of black grapes for pudding.

I also had a “snack” juice yesterday, made with pineapple, yellow pepper and ginger which was pretty darned tasty.

I made it through and the way I did that was by tailoring the plan to suit me. My dinner was still just vegetables and it wasn’t particularly satisfying but it took away some of the hunger pangs and still contributed a lot of goodness to my eating plan.

This is how I’m going to do it from now on. I’ll juice in the morning, as I have done again today. I’ll probably have juices as snacks too and the rest of the time I’ll eat. I’ll eat like a vegan and I’ll get to my goals, taking this like a marathon rather than a sprint. What I realised is that this is about control; it’s not that I can’t have the Maltesers sitting on top of the book case, I’m choosing not to. In the same vein, I can choose to eat well but without just living off juices that leave me feeling like I’m missing out.

I still have no idea of my weight but I *should* go home today where I can check that out and report back. In the following posts, I’ll share any fab recipes I encounter which I think could help others trying to do the healthy thing.

Anyone else on a similar plan? x

Clean 9 Detox – Part 2

Ahoy there and happy Monday!

I know I only posted Part 1 of this detox malarky yesterday but that was actually day 2 and the way the programme works is that you check in with your measurements, etc. on days 1, 3, 6 and 9. If you’re even half awake,  you’ll have realised that today is day 3 so it’s time to check in with my measurements again. I’m also going to give you a little update on how the programme is more generally, side effects and how it’s been having my first day at work whilst doing this.

The stats:

Arm : 9.75″ (no change)

Waist : 27″ (no change)

Hip : 38″ (0.5″ loss)

Thigh : 22″ (1″ loss)

Chest : 34.5″ (0.5″ loss)

Weight : 9st 10.5lb (1.5lb loss)

Ok, so the thoughts on the stats are that they’re pretty much how I was expecting them to be. I won’t lose a great deal of arm or waist size because I hadn’t really put anything on there. My podge mainly resides in the hip / thigh area so I’m happy that that is where I am seeing loss from.

I must confess I haven’t exactly stuck to the programme 100% either. On days 1 and 2 when food was very restricted, I had approximately 5 cherries each day and a nibble of cheese because I was SO HUNGRY! I’ve also not taken quite all of the aloe vera I am supposed to have. I’ve tried my best but it makes me gag so much that sometimes it’s just more than I can bear. Apparently I have a sensitive gag reflex 😉 (read into that what you will).

Not only that but you are also supposed to partake in 20mins of exercise each morning which I have not done. I don’t normally do exercise anyway but I am aiming to start. However, I don’t see where I’m supposed to find the energy from to do that when I’m barely eating. Anyone who says you don’t get hungry on this programme clearly does not eat the vast quantities of food I do. (I really do eat like a horse!) I’m hoping to start the exercise part tomorrow.

Today wasn’t too bad as I was allowed a shake in the morning and a meal at lunch. My challenge however was that we had a team lunch at an Italian restaurant and 600 calories won’t go far in there! I ended up having a risotto which sounded least offensive and leaving some of it on my plate as a guess. I was probably over but what I have planned for lunch tomorrow will be under so it should all balance out.

Other than that, I ache a bit and feel a bit weary but this could be because I woke up at 3am unable to sleep because of my hunger pains. If you eat normal amounts of food usually, you might not suffer from this problem quite so much as me!

For now, that’s all folks! I’m still going and if I manage to lose around 6lbs this week I’ll be a truly happy bunny 🙂 x

Clean 9 Detox – Part 1

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!

I’ve decided to do something bold and actually complete a detox. My weight has got to the point which is frankly ridiculous for me and represents far too much binging on cake, sweets, chocolate, fatty foods, etc. Not only does this mean that I caught sight of cellulite in the mirror the other day but more importantly, it means I have been feeling super sluggish and really lacking energy recently. So I’m doing it, I’m actually going to stick to a diet because I’m starting to feel the effects of not doing so.

I think there are about as many diet plans and detox programmes out there as there are people and nobody really seems to know what works best. On that basis, I have chosen to try Forever’s Clean 9 programme as a FB friend has done it and swears it really works without you feeling like you are starving the whole time. It’s cost me £120 for the kit but in any given 9 day period I spend a good chunk of that on food anyway because I eat out quite a lot.

Please excuse my photography, things always look fine on your phone and then you put them onto a bigger screen and you realise just how poor the picture quality is!

My kit arrived packaged in a handy box:

Clean 9 Box

The box contained the following:

Clean 9 KitThat kit is made up of:

  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Bee Pollen
  • Garcinia Plus
  • Shake mixture
  • Measuring cup
  • Shaker
  • Tape measure
  • Usage booklet

The usage booklet is especially handy, it outlines the programme and how to proceed through the 9 days and also contains spaces to note your weight and measurements across the 9 days.

So here it is, in the interests of being completely up front, I’m including my weight and measurements. This will also help me stick to the plan so that I’m not publicly humiliated by the lack of change. I’m a classic pear shape so you’ll notice that my waist measurement is already at a place many could only dream of but it’s the bum / thigh region that needs some help!

Day 1

  • Weight : 9st 12lb
  • Arm : 9.75″
  • Waist : 27″
  • Hip : 38.5″
  • Thigh : 23″
  • Chest : 35″

As you can see, my thigh / waist ratio seems to be a bit off so I’m hoping that I can balance that back out a bit over the course of this plan and keep it going with a less strict regime afterwards.

What you actually have to do is basically survive 2 days of hell where you don’t eat apart from 1 meal replacement shake at lunch time and the supplements. They recommend using either skimmed milk or soya milk for the shakes but I’m using Koko coconut milk because it’s got so many health benefits and keeps me away from the dairy that messes me up so royally. The trick is to drink loads of water and keep your mind busy!

After that, it gets much easier when you are allowed 2 shakes and 1 600 calorie meal per. day. That will be a walk in the park by comparison!

I’m now nearly at the end of day 2 and apart from feeling like I’d died between waking and my lunch shake today, it’s not been too bad. I’ve also cooked up my 600 cal. meal that I’ll be taking to work for lunch tomorrow and I have to say, 600 calories is a lot of food so I can’t see the rest of the week being too difficult.

I’ll keep you updated as the week goes on and let you know if I encounter any hurdles . I’m hoping that this will help others decide whether the programme is for them or not 🙂 x


The 5:2 Diet; One I Can Finally Stick To?

I’m sure you’ve all heard about this diet that is everywhere at the moment, a bit like the Atkins diet was a few years ago now. It’s essentially the one where you eat normally 5 days a week and practice some sort of fasting for the other 2 days. I’ve heard it called loads of different things and have also read about quite a few variations along with it so I’ve kind of created my own version and I think it could be the one for me!

Based on what I have most commonly read, I will be eating “normally” for 5 days every week and consuming just 600 calories for the other 2 days. I think “normally” means you can have anything within reason but no binge eating so I will carry on as I am but just cut out some of the excessive amount of chocolate I usually consume. As for my 2 days of “fasting”, I will be separating those out and they will fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Some argue that there are a lot of health risks associated with this diet but so far most of the evidence suggests it could actually be good for the body to eat this way and can reduce the risk of some cancers and diabetes. I’m working on the basis that it will reduce the amount of sugar I consume and force me to increase the amount of veg. I eat in order to stay within my calorie limit and also feel full.

Today is my first 600 calorie Tuesday and considering I usually eat like a horse, I really don’t think it’s going to badly. I had a carefully weighed out portion of porridge this morning which I made with water and flavoured with cinnamon. That kept me going until lunch when I had a large tuna salad… even including some low fat salad cream and for dinner I’ll probably do myself some roasted veg. with gravy. All in all, that’s a far healthier menu than I would normally work to and because I know it’s only for 1 day, I can easily push my cravings to the side. That all-too-familiar panic of wondering how I will keep this up for months hasn’t set in.

For the first time in ages, I actually feel like I’ve found something I can stick to that will make me just that little bit healthier and shave a few pounds off my thighs and I have just the right amount of time to do this before I go on holiday…perfect!

Have any of you tried this diet? Did you find it easy to stick to it? What were the results like? Let me know! x

Where to Eat – Japanese in Piccadilly

Hello, hello!

Viva ForeverFriday night the sister and I ventured up to the big smoke for an evening of viewing pleasure in the Piccadilly Theatre watching Viva Forever. The show was great; cheesy, not the best musical you will ever see but it was funny and it took us back to a happy time in the 90s when the Spice Girls were our world!

One word of warning would be that if you are not British or have lived in the UK a while / didn’t love the Spice Girls and have never watched X-Factor then you probably won’t get it. We had 2 American ladies sat next to us for the first half of the show who promptly left in the interval, I don’t believe they understood a lot of the humour as they didn’t have the contextual reference points.

Whilst on our way, we needed to grab some food but were of course pushed for time and literally ran into the first place that looked like it might serve us quickly as we needed to eat, pay and be seated at the theatre inside 25 minutes 🙂 Well, the place we stumbled upon was Ittenbari and boy were we lucky! The place was full of Japanese diners which is always a good sign in a Japanese restaurant and the food we ordered was delicious; my favourite of what we had was the pork gyoza, full of flavour. The prices are also great, for just under £25 we had the gyoza (of which there were 6), 2 mains, a Coke and a Diet Coke.

So, I just wanted to post that quick up update to say that next time you are in a rush for the theatre anywhere in the Piccadilly Circus vicinity, stop on by at Ittenbari and you’ll be able to get scrummy food at a good price in no time at all!

I hope you are all having a good weekend and enjoying the fact that whilst it may be cold, the sun has at last reappeared!!! x

Budapest (Part 2, The Food)

As promised, here is the second part of my Budapest write-up and this one focuses on the food! If you haven’t seen Part 1, check it out here.

If you’re like me then you’ll probably have no idea what Hungarian food really is and therefore no idea what to expect. Well, we’ve left feeling almost the same! It was very hard to find restaurants serving traditional Hungarian cuisine in Budapest, there was a lot of influence from the countries that have featured in their history books. You can find Greek food, Turkish food and Serbian food on pretty much every menu in the city but Hungarian food is much harder to find.

On our walking tour, we were told that Hungarian food is extremely unhealthy and involves a lot of meat and deep frying. Dishes you should look out for include goulash, pancakes with cheese or meat in the middle and what they call cottage cheese but which is really a cheesecake like cheese full of syrup! What you may not be aware of is that they also make a lot of wines in Hungary and their wine is fantastic, I’ll recommend somewhere to try their wines in a bit 🙂

Ok, so things we tried whilst we were there…the pancakes with cheese in the middle. I had these on Margaret Island and they were like pancake parcels with a weird soggy centre. I’m not sure if they were a good example but they were very strange! Goulash…we had this at Castro Bistro (Trip Advisor link here). The restaurant itself seems bizarrely placed and feels a bit like you are sitting in the middle of a car park but the Goulash was good. I also had some strange chicken dish with beetroot patties…not so good!

The cottage cheese we were told, is best sampled in bar form covered in chocolate which you can buy in any shop. This is what it looks like:

The Packet

The Centre

Now these bars are rather tasty and they are a bit like a cheesecake, that kind of sweet yet tangy flavour yet get with some vanilla cheesecakes. Be sure to grab yourself one if you go!

Whilst we were there we also tried out some of the Turkish cuisine; by this I mean we had an epic kebab one night from a place called Ali Baba’s right by our hotel. We sat out on the street and ate our kebabs and they were delicious, served with loads of fresh salad and your choice of rice, potato or pasta salad. Finally, our other big meal came from a place called 400 upon the recommendation of our walking tour guides. We sat outside and the ambience was amazing, such a friendly, laid back place. We went for the Serbian meat platter to share, here it is:

The platter was pretty epic as you can see and came with a pile of chips, plus we had ordered some salad on the side. The various meats were pretty tasty but I had to wimp out and give half of my share to my bf as it was just too much for me! The golden rule with the restaurants is really to try and avoid any near the river. The Jewish Quarter is where you will get a more authentic experience and where you’ll find Hungarian people hanging out as well.

Drinks wise, we stumbled upon a couple of places by accident when it was raining one night. Firstly there was GM Klub which is clearly where some of the cool kids go; the DJ was a beardy dude on the decks, there were exposed pipes and a black and white film was being projected onto the wall. It seemed awesome until we waited so long to get a drink that we gave up and moved on:

GM Klub

The next place we stumbled upon was called Kadarka and is a fabulous wine bar. It’s very minimal, was pretty quiet and they sell the wines by the bottle to take away as well as to drink there. I went to the barman and asked for a sweet white wine and was presented with 4 samples to try so I could choose before committing to the glass. The wine was delicious and I’d highly recommend you pop in here.

Finally, I’d like to introduce you to Szimpla, a ruin bar which I’m told is awesome of a night time. Sadly, being old and having walked around all day, the bf’s leg had given up so we didn’t make it there for a night but we did pop in during the day; even if that’s all you can do, you have to go and check out the interior. There are several bars and the place extends outside and upstairs with so much to look at. My pictures do it no justice at all but here they are:



They have something on basically every night so head on down there if you’re young and fit!

So that was our food and drink experience. I’d say Budapest isn’t somewhere you go for the food but it is worth trying some of their more traditional dishes, just so you can leave assured that you had an authentic experience. There are plenty of lovely places to eat and drink so try as many as you can, it’s dead cheap out there and the wine is delicious! x

Fresh Devon Air…and Scones!

A couple of months ago the bf and I took a trip to London Zoo and whilst we were there we happened to bump into a couple of donkeys. That got me thinking about how totally awesome donkeys are and how totally not awesome it was that I still hadn’t visited the donkey sanctuary down in Devon. So we booked ourselves a little trip-ette down to the coast to visit some Eeyores. Said trip was last weekend as we had the super long bank holidays and I thought I’d share a little with you.

The first new experience for me was staying in a B&B and boy did we pick a good one. We stayed at the Tyrone B&B in Sidmouth and it was fantastic. Our room was huge, as was our en suite shower room; we had free tea, coffee, biccies, hot chocolate & toiletries in the room. The breakfast menu was phenomenal; fruit, yoghurt, cereal, full English (& any combination of), toast, etc. and the owners were lovely too. We even had a little map of the town and some leaflets on local attractions in our room. Embarrassingly, we left our room in a right state on day 1 thinking nobody would go in and when we returned it had been tidied, the bathroom cleaned, our tea stash restocked and our towels changed. You wouldn’t get a hotel of this standard for £33 pppn. (We had bedroom 1 if you are booking.)

Ok, enough bedroom talk, let’s move on. Whilst we were there we visited The Donkey Sanctuary which was brilliant, we had a guided tour which taught us loads, including the fact that donkeys shouldn’t eat grass – take note if you have one! Here are some of my many donkey pics:

This is a proper donkey pose!

The BF with a friendly donkey

Me with Abbie, the friendliest donkey you could ever meet!

I hope you did the polite thing and ignored my hair / face in that last picture. Windswept is so not my look!

Other than visiting the donkeys, we also visited Bicton Botanical Gardens, Lyme Regis and lots of yummy food outlets. Food highlights for me include some ginormous scones with cream and jam and a scrummy fish based dinner at Neil’s Restaurant in Sidmouth. Neil’s gets busy so book your table as it’s only small but the food was fab, I’d highly recommend it.

Here are some more pics of our break:

This one is from Bicton

Stone balancing on the beach at Lyme Regis

The BF with one of the giant scones!

So that was my bank holiday getaway. A change really was as good as a rest; yes it was windy, yes we had to hide in a pub for a while on the first night because it was raining so hard but yes, we had a great time and holidaying in the UK can be really fun! My advice to you is to give it a try, the coastal parts of the UK are totally different in their atmosphere to the cities so it’s all the fun of the break with none of the stress 🙂 x