Sunday, 31 March 2013

'No Oil' Stew Recipe

Someone was referred to me for this recipe and although I talk about it a lot, I didn't have it on this blog! I recorded a video LAST year and still haven't edited it. *sigh*

So I decided to do this quick recipe card, which I think is the next best thing, if not as good!

This recipe helped me a lot when I initially lost weight in 2002. I've made a little change here, extracting the oil from the stock. When I was at university, I didn't bother with separating stock and fat,.

Being Nigerian, I was used to generously pouring oil into stew and this was the first thing I changed. I remember my friends teasing me about my 'Weight Watchers Stew' but over 40 pounds later, I was the one laughing :p

Honestly, I wasn't aware of the benefits of animal fats/stock back then, I just used stock in my food because it added flavour and helped me eliminate the use of oil.

Why chicken fat? Because animal fats are highly nutritious (and natural!) and essential for many body functions - heart, lungs, bones, etc (Read more here: 

Taking off the skin will result in less fatty stock but you'll still get stock from the bones (marrow) of the chicken which actually contains a lot of the nutrients stated above :)

PS For personal reasons, I've been advised to eat less chicken skin NOT because it's high in fat but because it's high in omega 6.
I use this recipe a lot and very often, I do it the much easier way:
  • fry the onions in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • And add the chicken stock (with the fat) to the blended tomato mix
Have you tried this? Let me know what you think!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Get Trimmer For The Summer - Sign Up!

After a great run of the challenge, which ended earlier this month, it's that time again (already!!).

Be prepared to dedicate some time and effort into this to see the results you desire :)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Green Smoothies: I'm Loving 'Em!

I love green smoothies

I just haven't been able to get into the habit of having salads which contain, highly nutritious and hydrating, raw, green, leafy vegetables into my daily diet. I have tried, I really have but I prefer my veggies stir fried or steamed, the former being my favourite way of getting those veggies in. Vegetables start to lose their nutrient values once they've been picked and heating them further reduces this value.

I finally decided to give green smoothies a try a few months ago, to ensure minimal alteration (in my control) of my veggies before consumption. I've enjoyed them from Day 1!

A few things I learned from my first try were:
  • Keep it simple - my favourite everyday green smoothie consists of spinach, cucumber, lemon juice, lemon zest and lime juice.
  • Lemon peel (zest) in addition to the juice makes a great change to an otherwise simple, bland mix of spinach and cucumbers. The taste of the peel almost removes the need for any sweetening eg berries, bananas, apples, etc
  • Lemon and lime juice are a great combination
  • Berries add a nice sweetness to the green smoothies. 
Most of my green smoothies contain spinach (contains flavonoids which have anti-cancer propertiesm rich in antioxidants, Vitamin K, calcium and magnesium), cucumber (contains phytonutrients that give it anti-cancer properties, rich in antioxidants, high water content, Vitamin K, potassium, magnesium), fresh juice from a lemon (read this for the benefits of lemon juice) and lemon peel/zest.

I aim to buy organic spinach and cucumbers. If you can't, make sure you wash them properly (apple cider vinegar + water rinse and brush the cucumber skin).

I have a jar/cup once a day, in addition to my meals and supplements. Not as a food replacement! Although I've had a smoothie some mornings I've had not appetite, which is a very rare occurrence ;)

If you're like me and have to force salads down your throat, try green smoothies :) One very lazy evening, I had 2 homemade turkey burgers and a green smoothie for dinner!

I've been putting my very cheap and durable blender through a lot of work and I can hear it falling apart each time I use it.
I'd love to get the Magimix 1.8L Blender which is a bit pricey at over £200 but it looks like it'd be worth it! For now, it's on my wish list for when I am richer ;)

For now, I've added the two blenders below to my 'immediate' wish list and I think I'll get the Villaware soon. They're both on sale at great discount (I'm still looking through reviews), click on the links for more info :)

1. Duronic BL1200 - Stainless Steel Body Table Blender (1.8L Glass Jug)
    £199.99 £59.99

 2. Villaware BLVLLAZ05H 2 Litre Jug Blender Die Cast Metal
     £79.99 £58.25

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Homemade Natural Beauty Products with Olive Oil: Five *Cheap* DIY Recipes

I was speaking to my friend at the gym and overheard a conversation about her conditioner. She's just paid for a house and said she can't afford to splurge on expensive conditioners.

My tips for her included:
  • Add some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to her cheap conditioner to instantly improve its properties
  • Do some hot oil treatments at home with EVOO
  • Condition with honey & EVOO
Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and has many properties including being very moisturising.
The great thing about olive oil is it's affordable, I buy mine from supermarkets and Bertolli Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is usually on offer (which is when I buy a few bottles!). Aim to buy 'Extra Virgin'.

Which brings me to this post, olive oil can be used in so many ways but I will highlight my favourites, which I've tried and tested:
    Moisturising: Olive Oil + Honey. It doesn't matter if you have any leftover, I usually make enough to last up to 5 applications.
    For protein, add an egg yolk (it's best to add this to one portion because eggs expire).
    Use: Apply to entire length of your hair, cover with a shower cap. Leave in for anything over an hour.
    Warm 1/2 a cup of olive oil (don't let it get too hot).
    Use: Apply to hair from root to tip. Cover with a shower cap and sit under a dome dryer.
    Other options - do some housework or hold shower cap in place with a scarf and leave in hair overnight. Wash your hair and enjoy the soft, shiny results.
    2 tbsps olive oil + 2 tbsps Fullers Earth Powder
    Add honey for extra moisture
    Olive Oil + Honey is a great option too
    Use: Wipe face clean and apply mask. Leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then wipe oil residue with warm water and a face cloth. Finish with a cold water rinse.
    To gently exfoliate your skin and reveal fresh, soft skin, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 to a cup of olive oil (depending on what consistency you want).
    I love using soft brown sugar as it's gentle enough for the face and great for the body.
    Optional: A few drops of an essential oil (eg lavender, peppermint, tea tree.)
    Use: Apply on clean face & lips and gently massage in small circular motions, it shouldn't hurt. Rinse and wipe off excess oil with warm water and a face cloth. Moisturise.
    For your homemade version of those expensive salt scrubs, mix 2 cups of sea salt with 1 cup of olive oil
    Optional: 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest OR a few drops of lavender essential oil.
    Use: Apply and massage all over body, focusing on the rougher areas of your skin. Rinse off with warm water and moisturise.
Other uses:
  • Olive Oil can also be added to a bottle of conditioner (1 part olive oil to 4-4 parts conditioner) to give extra nourishing properties. 
  • Massage into cuticles (finger & toenails)
  • As a make up remover, apply a small amount to cotton wool or directly on your face. Massage into skin and wipe off. Repeat until all make up is off, then wipe off excess oil with warm water and a towel. Moisturise.
If you'd like me to post more DIY recipes here, let me know in the comments section :)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Quick Catchup: Clean Weekend and a New Video

Hope you had a good weekend. I had another sugar free weekend and feel good for it today. I went to help my friend at her Ermioni's Bake Shop stall in Archway Market and didn't have anything! Not even  a tiny sample of her scrumptious baking. Funny thing was - it wasn't difficult, not one bit!

It helped that there was a hog roast stall in that market so I bought a portion of it (on its own) and my friend bought me more later :) The worst thing to do when you're avoiding sugar is to be hungry around sugar!

On Sunday, I made some plantain chips and had them with an omelette and a banana shake (1 cup of organic farm fresh yogurt and 1 banana). A couple of sunny-side-up eggs with runny yolks would have been perfect to dip the chips into... yummm! Next time ;) I absolutely LOVE plantains, can you tell?

I'm on Day 15 of my personal #CleanNineteen challenge and, honestly, I don't feel deprived because I've been making extra yummy meals and green smoothies <-- all homemade and natural :) Looks like I might just continue past the nineteen days, I'm enjoying it :)

I started this week as I plan to continue and finish it - cleansed and refreshed, let's see how long that lasts!!
Palm Oil Face Mask before my shower and a big glass of leftover homemade green smoothie (from the weekend).

Finally, here's a video I uploaded on Friday on treating yourself with unhealthy food. I do that a lot and it's a habit I'm trying to curb. I've been doing well these past few weeks by making berry or banana smoothies over the weekend (I have some pictures on my Instagram). And also making extra scrumptious meals, which makes a huge difference.

Watch the video here:

Have a productive week!
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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Palm Oil Face Mask

Before you ask, "Palm Oil???", which has been most people's initial reaction, bear in mind there are other cooking oils we use on our skin and hair, including coconut and olive oils.

Palm oil is:
  • Rich in Vitamin E
  • A natural deep cleanser
  • A natural deep moisturiser
It is found in a lot of shampoos and moisturisers.

This mask is made up of:
  1. 2 tablespoons of palm oil
  2. 2 tablespoons of fullers earth powder/bentonite clay
  3. 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
No water is required. Mix the contents and apply to a clean face - make sure you wipe off excess dirt or makeup before application. Leave for 15-20 minutes.

How Often? 1ce a week.


Your skin will feel a little oily after rinsing off the mask, soak a face towel in warm water, squeeze excess water out and wipe. Repeat twice and finish with a cold water rinse. Moisturise and enjoy your skin :)

My skin felt great after this, it's definitely worth a try.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My Workout Routine (REQUESTED)

A workout routine should be about balance.

Going through mine below, you'll see there's one thing that I currently am not doing enough of.

You should aim for a good mix of:
Strength/Weights: Read this post on Why I Love Strength Training HERE
Cardio/Endurance: Read this post on How To Add Variation To Your Cardio Training HERE
Stretch/Flexibility: Read this post on Vinyasa Flow Yoga HERE

What's also important in a workout routine is variation and progression. A session shouldn't be easy - you should always challenge yourself to see results. 

Including variety and progress is different depending on what form of training you're doing:
  •  If it's a yoga session, you should always ease into your poses/stretches (each session, challenge yourself by slowly going deeper/further than before, using your breathing for assistance) and not force your body into positions to avoid injury.
  • A strength session is completely different, nothing should be easy or relaxing. You keep challenging yourself by increasing resistance/weight, when you get comfortable. Same for a cardio/endurance session. 
My Current* Routine
*'Current' because it's not set in stone. I can, and will, change it anytime. I plan to cut down my spin classes to two per week.

Morning: Fitter London Kettlebells for Strength & Bodyweight Conditioning*
Strength Session 1 & Endurance
This is one of my two favourite classes of the week. I'm naturally strong so of course I love strength training. My endurance and core strength, which aren't so great, have required a lot of work and slowly improved over timeI'm a Fitter London instructor but I don't teach this class and I happily attend it every week - love it! This class is great for building your strength through weights and bodyweight, and also your endurance as we sometimes have some long cycles with little rest.
Afternoon: Spin
Cardio/Endurance Session 1
I'm a spin instructor and I teach this class on the bike. All three spin classes in my routine are my classes so of course they're highly effective ;)

Morning: Fitter London Spin
Cardio/Endurance Session 2

Evening: Spin 
Cardio/Endurance Session 3


Midday: Fitter London Kettlebells for Strength Size & A Sixpack
Strength Session 2
This class is more strength focused , compared to Tuesday, with hardly any cardio drills. The most cardio drills we've done in this class are kettlebell swings (with heavy bells!). Don't be alarmed by the name, I haven't built any size - I'm a woman! But I'm definitely stronger and my faint fourpack is thankful for this class.

- Rest

Although my routine looks the same each week, no session is ever the same (variation!). The Fitter London classes are always different and the same goes for my spin classes - to keep everyone challenged. I aim to push myself harder than the week before for gradual progress.

As you can see, I'm missing a VERY important component of my workout routine - Strength/Flexibility! Although I warm up (& mobilise my joints) before workouts and cool down (& stretch) after, it's important that I dedicate 30 minutes to an hour twice a week to focus on flexibility and stretching.  This can easily be covered by a yoga class or a session on my own.

Writing this post has reminded and inspired me - I have to get back into my Sunday yogaish routine and I will be checking in on Instagram from this weekend. I'll also try to attend yoga classes when I can. 

What's your workout schedule like? Share in the comments section and let me know if you have any questions.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

It's Been A Long Week - My Personal Clean Eating Challenge & More

It's been a busy week and I have two unfinished blog posts - I started them earlier this week!

So, until I have the time to finish the blog posts and videos, I decided to share my week in pictures :)

Some of these pictures are on my instagram --> @Adura_O


"Why *nineteen*?", I hear you ask? Because I'm nineteen (hahahahahaha!), *sigh*

Seriously, I usually eat clean (no processed foods at all), and of course healthy food, Monday - Friday and relax a little during the weekend. A couple of weeks back, after noticing my treat days get worse each passing week, I decided to have 2 whole weeks #clean - it worked! I felt great and it helped get me back to where I used to be - Treat days that had a maximum of two treats instead of multiple, random treats here and there.

Then a couple of treats happened last weekend. A cupcake and a cookie from @vickii373, and some (okay, okay!) a bar of dark chocolate. Not too crazy but enough to alarm me. So I'm adding another week (5 days) to that challenge and making it 19 days of clean eating.

On Day 20, I will not go crazy with treats and inhale tubs of ice cream because that'd defeat the purpose! It's just another kick up my backside to get back on track with clean eating.

My goals are:
- To appreciate every mouthful of every meal
- To keep cooking (and eating) deliciously, healthy meals
- To look (my skin, my body) and feel (energy levels, digestion) better.

Feel free to join me :)

If you don't know, I make body & hair butters and face oils.

I've decided to add a little more structure to when I make them - every 4-6 weeks, depending on demand.

I spent most of Thursday making them and this was between a 7am class at the gym and a 6pm spin class. I was so happy when I was done!

I usually eat this without a "bun" (in quotes because I obviously didn't use burger buns) but wanted to try something different today. I'd heard a lot about how Portobello mushrooms are good for this. So I pan fried them for a few minutes on either side before serving. Burgers were oven cooked (ingredients above).
This was a great post workout breakfast and I was stuffed!

PS I usually eat two turkey burgers (no bun) with a side of veggies.

My dinner on Friday - Courgette spaghetti (recipe in the Fitter Food book) stir fried in chopped chilli, curry and thyme. Served with my (successful) experiment of pork & plantain meatballs.

I was craving ice cream last night so this strawberry & banana milkshake was my treat :) (Remember: I'm doing my #CleanNineteen personal challenge).

I bought unsweetened Almond milk from Holland & Barrett, make sure you look at the list of ingredients when buying almond milk because I've some cr*ppy excuses for almond milk. There's a brand that is 2% almond, TWO PERCENT!!!!!

And this brings me today (blogging from my sofa exhausted). After a very intense Fitter London kettlebell class, I came home and had a very late lunch of: plantain and eggs both fried in about 4tbsps of fat from my homemade (beef) bone broth. I drained most of the oil (left about tbsp) before frying the eggs, I seasoned them with parsley, curry and chilli.

Thanks to Fitter London's Keris for suggesting the fat as I'd run out of coconut oil.


I've had a few requests for more natural skincare/haircare posts and also some workout posts. They're definitely coming :)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Happy Sunday!

I had a late, healthy breakfast and now I'm relaxing for a couple of hours :) 

Mackerel cooked in tomato puree and paprika. Eggs seasoned with salt and parsley. 1tbsp of juice from a lemon in the green tea.

Of course, I'm going to do a bit of work this afternoon... all from the comfort of my sofa ;)

Enjoy your Sunday!