Sugar free spiced apple ice tea

Hello my lovelies,

I’m trying to cut sugar free fizzy drinks from my diet and let me tell you it’s really difficult!  Especially since I’ve got my coffee consumption to just one a day.  I mean, I like water but it’s getting really boring and I’ve been craving something a little tastier to drink while at work.

Enter, my recipe for Sugar free spiced apple ice tea!

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It’s low carb, sugar free and deliciously refreshing! What more could you ask for in a Summer drink?

The recipe is basically the same as my ultimate southern sweet ice tea just sugar free.

This recipe will make approximately 1 litre of base tea.   To make up a jug of iced tea, you will need to add 750ml of icy cold water to 250ml of the cold base tea.  If the base has just been made and is still warm but you’d like to make up a batch of iced tea for later, add 750ml of cold water to 250ml of the warm base sweet tea and refrigerate for about 4 hours.  Overnight is better, I’m told.

To make the tea base you will need:

  • 1 litre cold water (more for topping up)
  • 6 Spiced apple teabags
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 100g of Truvia

Place 1 litre of water on to boil. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and dump in your tea bags and let them steep for about 15 minutes.  Add the lemon juice.

Remove the tea bags and discard.  Pour in the Truvia and stir to completely dissolve.

Pour into a bottle and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before placing in the fridge. Don’t ever put hot stuff straight into your fridge.

I’ve filled my large water bottle and it’s in the fridge ready and waiting to go to work with me.

Can’t wait!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

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Why I’m moving the new year to March

Hello my lovelies,

Spring has finally sprung!  It’s been a little temperamental here in England with one day being the warmest day of the year so far and the next being chilly and windy.  But that’s England for you.

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I’m sure you’re wondering why I have decided to change up the entire calendar year that has pretty much stood the test of time.Changing the New Year to 20 March is a pretty ludicrous thing to propose. Of course I’m not going to petition parliament with my request, it’s just a personal thing; but hear me out.

I’m not sure who came up with the idea to have the New Year start on 1 January but it was a pretty rubbish idea.  I understand that life can seem lackluster after Christmas and people need something to celebrate.  Any reason for a tipple!  I’ve got nothing against celebrating the fact that the following day will be the 1st of January.   However, I do have a problem with trying to get anything done in January.  Or February, come to think of it.  They are rubbish months where morale is low and I don’t know about you but I feel my worst in these months.

Most people decided to crack on with New Year’s resolutions in January and almost every single person I know has failed to start a new regime at this time of year.  Think about it for a minute.  The weather is crap. It’s cold, it’s miserable and gray.  You don’t feel like starting anything new. You don’t feel optimistic or in any right frame of mind to make life changes.  It’s a grim time of year to be doing anything besides getting your Hygge on. So what do we do?  We write a list of all the things we want to change in our lives and within a week, we feel like useless wretches because we haven’t been able to even start on the goals we set ourselves. Can you say counterproductive?

I don’t know about you but the closer I get to Spring which is mid March, the more optimistic I feel.  The sun shines brighter, the days are getting longer and suddenly, I feel more energetic. I feel optimistic.  I feel ready to start doing the things I’ve been meaning to.  See what I mean?  It just makes sense!

Just after Christmas is the best time to start thinking about the things you want to change. January and February are the time to finalize that list of changes and to get ready.  Wanna get fit?  Buy those new trainers in January.  Wanna start eating healthy? Do your research so come March, you’re good to go!

Who is with me?

Bright blessings

Mrs R

x

 

 

Bare Naked Noodles

Hey everyone,

I’m back on my low carb lifestyle for the last time, I might add and I’m excited to chat to you today about Bare Naked Noodles!

These babies are zero fat, low in calories and 0.1g carbohydrates making them a dream for those on a low carb eating plan.  I found them in Morrisons for around £2.50 so they are not cheap and not intended for the whole family to eat. Unless of course, they are also on a low carb diet in which case this is gonna cost you big bucks!

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I use regular noodles for the family and these bare naked noodles for myself.  There is a difference in texture compared to regular noodles.  They feel a little ‘squeeky’ on the teeth… kind of like halloumi feels once it’s been pan fried and you bite into it.  They don’t really taste of anything which is where a dinner like Thai chicken curry comes in.

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I separated a portion of the Thai chicken curry for myself and tossed it in a bag of drained bare naked noodles, then heated it through for around 3 minutes.

Please note I have not been paid to write this review but was so excited at the prospect of eating pasta, I needed to share this with you.

To make Low Carb Thai Chicken Curry:

3 chicken breasts, diced

1/2 a leek, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

1/2 courgette, cut into battons

1 carrot, sliced into ribbons with the vegetable peeler

a handful of mange tout

1/2 jar of Waitrose Thai red curry paste (be aware this contains shellfish!)

1 chicken stock cube

1/2 a can of full fat coconut milk

Fry the diced chicken in a bit of coconut oil until lightly browned on both sides. Add the vegetables and stir fry until just starting to wilt.

Add the stock cube, Thai red curry paste and stir through.  Fry for another minute.  The smell at this point is INCREDIBLE!

Add the coconut milk, stir and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce has heated through.

Serve with add to wok noodles which you can add to the sauce a couple of minutes before serving or with basmati rice.

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Bare naked also do their own version of rice which is also zero fat, low calories and practically zero carbs.  I’ve yet to try it but it’s on the list to buy soon.

 

As for my healthy eating plan, today I had:

Breakfast: Homemade cheese, sausage, mushroom and spinach fritatta

Lunch: Mixed green salad with red cabbage, pickled onions, feta cheese and salad dressing with some homemade chilli tomato soup

Dinner: thai red curry with bare naked noodles.

I doubt i’ll be hungry later but if I am, I will snack on celery sticks and hummus

As ever, if you try any of my recipes, please let me know if you enjoyed them. For those concerned, I intend to keep the slimming world recipes on my site in case anyone finds them useful.

Bright blessings to all,

Mrs R

x

 

Beating the dreaded Winter blues

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The Winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD for short) is a yearly depression that is triggered by the shorter days of Autumn and Winter and usually lasts until Spring. Experts say that SAD is caused by shorter, darker, colder days which lead to sugar, cravings, fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in usual activities and sleep problems.

According to my pharmacist, 90% of Brits are vitamin D deficient by mid November which contributes hugely to SAD.  Vitamin D is a vitamin that is naturally created by your body when you expose your skin to the sun so it’s little wonder that by November when the nights are drawing in earlier that we feel lackluster and grumpy. Fast forward to January, the darkest month by far and the SAD we feel can cause us to feel critically low.  You may feel that it is hopeless and that you are destined to suffer yearly but there are things you can do to ease the symptoms and help you to lead a more normal life during the winter.

1. First thing’s first, start taking a vitamin D supplement. From October to February I double my daily dose of vitamin D which I find really helps to lift my mood.  Last year, the SAD was the worst it has ever been and I broke down crying in a group setting. My pharmacist suggested a good course of vitamins and I started taking the following supplements on a daily basis:

  1. Gentle iron – helps with tiredness and breathlessness
  2. Vitamin C & zinc – helps the immune system and zinc reduced the duration of illness
  3. Vitamin B complex – helps the central nervous system
  4. Omega 3,6,9 – help reduce depression, help the central nervous system
  5. Co enzyme Q10- fights ageing, keeps the heart healthy and increases energy
  6. Vitamin D – helps reduce depression,  helps reduce the chances of getting osteoporosis and supports the immune system

The most important of these is definitely vitamin D.

2. Expose yourself to light.  Get as much natural sunlight as you can.  If possible, move your desk to one near the window and take a walk at lunch time even if it is cold.  Consider purchasing a dawn simulator which can help to make waking up a little easier and definitely consider buying a light box.  Melatonin (the sleep hormone) is activated by darkness so when it gets darker earlier in the day your body starts to literally tell itself that it’s time to sleep which is why you feel so tired during the Winter! Light boxes produce a different wavelength of light and the fact that they are 20 times brighter than a regular light bulb (10,000 LUX). This means that sitting near one for 30 minutes a day can help to reduce the melatonin levels in your body making your feel more upbeat and less fatigued.

3. Stick to a healthy diet. While is is very tempting to indulge in stodgy food during the colder months, the extra carbs and excess sugar will only make you feel worse.  Get your five-a-day, every day and wherever possible eat lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Eating a healthy balanced diet will help you feel less lethargic and help support your immune system too.

4.  Keep moving. It’s so important to stay active and keep doing the things you love during the Winter months.  It might feel like such a chore to visit the gym or continue with your Zumba class but it will definitely help to improve your mood.  Don’t turn down invitations and cut yourself off from friends and family no matter how much you feel like hibernating.

5. Plan things to look forward to. This is a huge help to me when what I call The February Funk hits.  Just knowing we have a day trip, a dinner out or even something as small as a couple of child free hours to do as I wish, really helps me to stay positive.

6. Hibernate. Hibernate if you must for short periods of time but don’t make it a winter long respite.

7. Talk to your doctor.  If you are concerned about how you are feeling or if your friends and family tell you they are concerned about your mental health do not delay. See your family doctor as soon as possible.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is not easy to live with but try to remember that it only lasts through the Winter.  Try the tips above to make things easier for yourself. Spring is on it’s way and we’ll all feel better soon.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x