Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tilapia with Efo

Oh food, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways ;)

Okay seriously, I have a bit of a sore throat and I'm a little tired so I needed to make something easy, yummy and hot (I promise I'm talking about food here!).

Before I go into the recipe, I have to say I try to make preparations for my meals in advance. Even if I don't know exactly what I'm making yet.

E.g. I bought 2 bunches of spinach and some tilapia on Monday. By Tuesday, I knew I wanted to cook the tilapia on Wednesday so... I washed, picked and chopped the spinach and stored it in the fridge. I cleaned/washed the fish and seasoned it. Again I stored it in the fridge. When I woke up feeling a little rough, I knew exactly what I was going to cook and as most of the preparation was already done, it didn't take long to cook AT ALL.

2 x Whole Tilapia (sliced)
1 Onion
1 cup of Passata
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
2 x Spinach Bunches
Seasonings - Ginger, Parsley, Mixed Herbs and Salt

Tilapia with Efo
  1. Wash and chop the spinach.
  2. Clean/Wash the Tilapia and season (salt, ginger and parsley).
  3. Chop the onion
  4. Add the oil to a pot and allow it heat up. Add the onions.
  5. Once onions are nicely caramelised, add the passata and reduce heat to medium. Season with salt and herbs. Cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the spinach and stir contents of pot together.
  7. Add the fish almost immediately, I always add my fish flat (to make sure one entire side of each piece is flat on the surface of the pot or stew)
  8. Cover pot and leave to cook for 15 minutes (maximum).
  9. Serve and Enjoy :)

Serving Suggestions
  • You can eat it on its own, which is what I did.
  • With baked sweet potatoes, which is what I'm doing tomorrow ;)
  • Boiled or Pan Fried Plantain
  • 1-2 (1/2 inch) slices of yam
  • The list goes on and on and on

Monday, 26 March 2012

VIDEO: What Not To Wear (In the Gym!)

Happy Monday!

I just HAD to record this:

Have a nice week ahead and look out for some requested blog posts coming soon :)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Food. Butters. Oils

Happy Friday :)

I finally bought a tripod for my camera so I will start recording RECIPE videos this Sunday :) Speaking of videos, please check out my channels and *subscribe* (see I how I slid that in ;) )

On to other things, I've been a little busy... making some products.

It's still at the early stages but I plan to officially sell products. Starting with:
  1. Whipped Body Butter (with some great ingredients!)
  2. Face Oil
  3. Hair Oil
  4. Fullers Earth Powder (of course!)
Whipped Body Butter
I'd like to say a huge thank you to my friends who encouraged me to finally do this as "it's good that my obsession with haircare and skincare" is being put to good use (Vickii!) and also to those who've already ordered products and given me feedback (thanks for being my guinea pigs).

Have a nice weekend :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Add a little variation to your Cardio Training.... and see Quicker Results.

*This is a re-post*

This post is inspired by:
  • My cousin - who was at the gym for 2 hours a few weeks ago, she said she spent an hour on the bike, 30 minutes on the cross trainer and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I told her she could cut down the time spent with better results by doing intervals on one (max 2) of the three machines she used and it's true!

  • And Ibukun (a reader) :)

I remember when I took up running - I was training for my first ever 5k and following a detailed training plan.

Within a few weeks, I saw results - both expected and unexpected. There was a huge improvement in my running - I started from barely able to jog for 1 minute to keeping a steady pace for 15 minutes! And... I also noticed my clothes started to fit better <--- pleasant surprise :) I ran that 5k and quite a few races after - 5ks, 10ks and 2 half marathons.

But this post isn't about me or my running ;)

It's about the second result of this... the weight loss which was short-lived I noticed that after many months, I started to gain the weight back! I was still running and yes, still indulging once in a while but why wasn't I getting the same results?!?!?!

I had reached a Plateau in my running, doing the same thing but not seeing the desired results. I was running out of habit and wasn't challenging myself anymore - my body was used to it and I might as well have been going for a long walk.

No matter what form of cardio you do - running/walking outdoors or on a treadmill, cycling, skipping, cross trainer, etc - you must vary how you train and continue to challenge yourself. This way your body is continously being challenged and you see results :

Ways to vary your cardio training include:
  • Interval Training
    I know I always go on about interval training. It is one of my favourites plus it's it's been proved to aid fat loss! Another advantage of this is an increase in your endurance and running speed :)
    Interval training = short bursts of intense exercise followed by longer periods of moderate to easy exercise. For example, running at 80-90% of your maximum speed for 30 seconds and slowing down/walking/stop completely for 60-120s (at about 50% of your maximum pace). Repeat at least 8 times.
    Try this 2ce a week.
  • Long Steady State
    This is exercise at a comfortable pace - the body is being challenged but not too much. About 60% of your maximum heart rate. On a scale of 1 to 10, you'd be working at 5-6.
    I'd suggest having a cardio session like this 1ce-2ce a week.
  • Hills/Resistance
    With this type of training, you're constantly challenging yourself. As it gets easier at a certain level of resistance, all you have to do is - increase it so you keep working hard.
    On the bike or cross trainer, you'd have to increase the level which will result in you having to work harder to maintain a certain speed. On the treadmill, increase the incline and outdoors, an uphill route.
    You can mix this with interval training ie Run up a hill as fast as you can/increase the resistance for a set time, slow down/decrease resistance for double the time. Repeat as many times as you can.
    Try this 1ce a week.
The above can be applied to any form of cardio training. Try them and if you have any questions - please ask :)
Photo Credit: Muscle Fitness Tips

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Bargain - Natural deodorants at a decent price!

I know trying to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle can be hard on one's pocket. I faced so many challenges when I started out and always ended up going for the cheaper options. As time went on, I found easier ways to achieve my goals, from making my own products to stocking up on everything during my trips to the US. I still hear these complaints from friends who I'm trying to convince to take the healthier route.

I always buy my natural deodorants (and most of my beauty products while I'm in America because everything works out cheaper...

So imagine my surprise when I walked into Pak (Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London) and found natural deodorants for almost half the price I've seen them for in west end shops (I won't name and shame). This is almost the same price as it is in the US. It's good to know I can get some here too :)

If you still haven't tried natural deodorants, please go to Pak (if you're in London of course) and try them out. I think they were £2.99 compared to the £5.99 I saw in another shop. Now you have no excuse! :)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Internal Cleansing with Fullers Earth Powder

I talk about Fullers Earth at least once a week, friends and family have tried it out because of how amazing I say it is.

There are many known uses for it but I'd only used it as a skin and hair cleanser. It's no surprise I decided to take things one step further and drink it ;) Watch the video below:

In addition to the video:
  • A little more on the 'result' - Just think compact and err very firm ;)
  • Although I use it once a week, some websites have suggested drinking it every morning. In a couple of weeks, I'll increase it to 2ce a week
  • This makes me feel great especially after a weekend of indulging (I ate 2-3 chocolate chip cookies last weekend <-- I'm living on the edge aren't I? Ha!). Now that I eat healthy 80% of the time, indulging in sweet things irritates my tummy and causes bloating, etc. So this light cleanse works for me.
If you have any questions, ask away :)

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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Training HARD != Eating HARD.

I was having a conversation with someone recently - she wasn't happy because she'd taken up exercise and felt she was doing quite well. Only problem was - she was gaining weight.
My immediate reply was: "Do you feel you're eating more because you exercise and think you deserve to?", to which she responded, "Yea, I think I started eating more when I started working out :("

I wasn't surprised! This is because I went through the exact same thing about 4-5 years ago. I was a regular runner.... ahh I remember my my Saturday Regents Park runs with my friend, Vickii, feels like forever ago! A couple of months after I took up running, I noticed some weight loss and I was so happy. I kept pushing myself harder, worked on increasing my pace and saw more positive results.

Until... I plateaued! It started with me not seeing any weight loss for a few weeks then I started to gain the weight back! I ran harder but the weight wouldn't budge!

Finally it hit me - I'd been eating more. I felt that because I was running and burning extra calories, I deserved to eat bigger portions and treat myself more often than usual. It wasn't until I re-joined WW in January 2008 for a very brief couple of months (with Vickii) that I lost the weight (easily!). It was only about 10 pounds but it made a huge difference to me. My confidence was back and because I was still running, I lost the weight really quickly.

I've found that a lot of us do this - we think that an intense session at the gym means we can eat more. Look at it this way: If you're trying to lose weight, you should aim to eat less and exercise.
  • If you exercise but eat more, you'll either stay the same or gain weight. 
  • If you eat better and don't exercise, you'll either lose some a little weight (depending on how good you are) or stay the same
  • If you eat better AND exercise, you will lose weight! And get to the point where you maintain a healthy weight.
Please note when I say "eat better", I mean eating foods of nutritional value, eating less of the cr*ppy stuff and balancing out your portions.

Funny thing is you'd have thought I learned my lesson in 2008 but a year later, I found myself in the same situation again! I was training hard in Fitter London classes and felt and looked great, then I started to eat and eat and EAT.
One ridiculous thing I used to do was eat 4-5 oatcakes post workout (225 calories, 10g of fat, 30g of carbs) then get to work and have a HUGE bowl of Quaker Oats with milk and agave nectar (350-400 calories easily!). See - when I say I love food people don't believe me). The weight crept back on and although I never went back to my pre-WW weight, it was frustrating constantly yo-yoing between a size 10 and barely a size 12 (a few more pounds and I'd have been a 14).
That was then...
This is now... (That class was HARD!)

Luckily, this time I had the expert advice of Keris (of Fitter London) and I totally changed my eating habits and I can now say it's  now part of my lifestyle. I make very little effort to plan my meals.

But this isn't about me, I know that's hard to believe ;)

Don't fall into the trap of eating loads just because you exercise. You probably already eat enough to fuel your workouts and you want your body to burn up your fat stores for energy if you're looking to lose weight.

So... eat well (more protein, less processed carbohydrates, more healthy fats and more veggies) and keep yourself hydrated.

Good Luck :)