New Recipe Alert! Low FODMAP Egg Fried Quinoa!

And I thought Egg Fried Rice was good! This protein packed alternative is an awesomely tasty way to inject some extra protein into a vegetarian dish and you can take your pick of your favourite veggies to throw in so the possibilities are endless!

Go make yourself a plate and feel the veggie protein-y love! Just click the tasty photo to go to the recipe!

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One Small Step: The Magic of Teas

Ah tea…it’s a truly magical thing and truly a habit I fully advocate. Now I’m not talking about these nonsense “skinny” or “detox” (detox is a forbidden word on my blog, only a medically trained professional can “detox” you) teas, I mean proper real life non health branded tea. Why? Well just google the health benefits of green, black or red tea, there are a multitude of awesome things this magic liquid can do for you and with so many varieties, there is really is something for everyone.

Enjoying my Bluebird Tea Company Salted Carmel Matcha sample in style, everything is better with Pusheenicorn

Thinking way back I believe drinking green tea was the first healthy habit I went for. I bought some flavour green tea (twinings probably) and I will be perfectly honest here; it smelled way better than it tasted. Thought not fully enjoying it for some reason I was determined to persevere, and in time I found myself where I am now: a self confessed tea snob and damn proud of it.

So if you want to make one small step toward a healthier life and think tea might be your jam then here’s some thing to know and places to go!

Things to know:

  • There are loads of varieties. Black (earl grey, chai and English breakfast group here), Green, Oolong, Red (aka Rooibos), Yerba, and herbal/fruit (unless they state they contain tea they aren’t technically tea but well count it for now).
  • Black contains the highest levels of caffeine and Red is caffeine free
  • Tea comes in two forms: tea bags and loose leaf. Loose leaf means it’s one big container of tea and to use it you’ll need a tea infuser.
  • Loose leaf tea is generally more expensive so it may be best to start with the more affordable supermarket teas if your not sure that you’re going to stick to it.
  • Loose leaf though a little pricier is still way cheaper than buying lower quality tea from your local coffee chain everyday so if you like your new habit consider investing in some good quality loose leaf.
  • If budget ain’t and issue there tea of the moment: matcha! The superfood of teas, though with a very strong flavour it’s perhaps not for the beginner!
Staying on the theme of maturity, meet Frogbert my tea infuser

With that in mind here’s are my favourite tea haunts!

  • Bluebird Tea Company (stores across England and online). They have an amazingly huge range of tea and an awesome and unrivalled flavoured matcha collection. They also have a tea made with IBS in mind, “The Digester” is an awesome tea made for when you gut needs a little TLC!
    Matcha tea, the current king of teas and superfood. Using the remaining Christmas money to treat my self to this beauty.
  • T2 Tea (online and stores across the uk). A new addition to my list having visited the new Glasgow store and already finding a new favourite in Green Rose.
    T2’s ‘Green Rose’ a new favourite after discovering their Glasgow store.
  • Tea Lyra (online). Tea Lyra have a HUGE selection of teas, and loads of rooibos flavours for the caffeine free fix. They also offer free UK delivery and some flavoured matcha at a slightly more affordable price that I’ve found to be great for baking and my matcha rice porridge.
Another matcha, this time from Tea Lyra. This raspberry matcha makes for an awesome baking ingredient!

Hi 2018! Bit of a lengthy-ish post coming up!

So I’ve been a little absent from the whole internet-y social media world as of late. While I’m all too aware that 90% of what you see online is fake or only the absolutely best snippets of someone’s life, I found myself profoundly affected by having a 24/7 view-only access to lifestyles that were completely unachievable for me.

So I opted to take a hiatus from all of it; it was doing nothing for my self-esteem and my 2017 has been hard enough without that shit. Amazingly within the space of week I already felt better, the frighteningly long hours that I would have wasted each day on Facebook etc, I spent doing things I actually enjoy. Hell even just sitting staring into space was a vastly more enjoyable activity that looking at “#blessed” 4 million times over.

It’s been a couple of months without (maybe 3/4ish) and now. I feel like I come back at this world with a plan of what I want out of social media. For me I’ve realised for me the enjoyment is in being useful and relatable and to me that means it’s about blogs and sharing with people who enjoy life while being grounded in reality.

I love to learn and get a bit of a useful hint, tip or solution to get me through life and last year I learned countless useful bits and pieces around FODMAP/IBS on various blogs. On instagram and the like, I’ve enjoyed seeing everyday people just getting on with it. I like people who share all that it takes to achieve a goal and then seeing them achieve it, people that tell you honestly what it takes, proper blood sweat and tears (and food of course). I’ll believe the badass Lifter that eats a balanced diet and treats themselves to a pizza before I’ll believe the person that tells you the only way to be like them is some random companies fat burning supplements. The last thing I want is another year of scrolling through nonsense where “athletes” spew out nothing but motivational quotes and constant product placement (lets be real here, we’d all think your products were great if we got them massively discounted or even for free).

So for 2018 I’m getting really real about shit. Instagram, I’ll follow you if your interesting, if you’re about food and lifting we’ll get along just smashingly! If you’re about showing off wealth and the kind of fitness where all you do is take constant gym selfies or any other posing selfie and post ABSOLUTELY ZERO workout or fitness activity I don’t think we’re meant to be.

Also (my main rant about instagram) No longer will I follow people if they only follow me so that I’ll be polite and follow back and then immediately unfollow me (seriously how shitty is that?!). I want to enjoy Instagram the way I did in the begging and if that means quality not quantity; sure I won’t end up “insta-famous” but I’d rather have 10 awesome followers I can relate to than 10,000 shite ones.

So this year I’m all about me; and here’s what you should know

  • I’m no ones “ambassador” or “athlete”, though I will constantly share photos of my socks cause I love them (I buy every pair with my own hard earned pennies).
  • I’ll constantly talk about food, like 99.9% of it will be about food.
  • I’ll seldom post photos of me posing in the gym, I go to the gym to lift and you should too
  • Sometimes (rarely) I’ll post a photo of me, the reason will be I feel particularly proud of myself that day and also I suppose it helps to see what all my eating and lifting is achieving. Though said photos will never involve any expected stereotypical female fitness pose (we’re all equal and I show off the guns if I want dammit)
  • I’ll complain when it gets tough or sometimes (heaven forbid) I’ll skip a workout, cause sometimes I’d rather just sit on my ass.
  • I’ll give you this one motivational quote (just in case you really need one) “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. If you can appreciate and accept that, you’ll figure out how to achieve your goals.

So for now it’s bring on 2018, hopefully I can stay strong and keep at it (blogging and lifting)! Below is me being fearsome for your enjoyment… hehehe

New Recipe Alert! Low FODMAP Teriyaki Sauce!

This one is a game changer for me, finally I have a good option for eastern inspired food! There’s nae garlic, nae onions and it’s DELICIOUS! 

This is my first attempt so I expect I’ll perfect and tweak the recipe as I try it for other dishes but this version is still pretty damn special!

Click the photo to get the recipe! 

Adventures in Croatia and holidaying on the low FODMAP diet

Since being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome I’d spent a lot of time worrying about my summer holiday. “What if the food has garlic/onions?”, “what if there is not dairy/gluten free breakfast option?”, “what am I supposed to eat for lunch if I can’t get a sandwich?” There was a whole host of questions and stress, all ultimately leading to the fear that this years holiday would be like the last where I was unwell for days.

So when we finally arrived in the outstandingly beautiful Poreč in Croatia earlier this month, I could have never anticipated just how much of a eating adventure it would be…

There I am on day one, all excited about the sunshine (and damn I am seeing some good gains there)!

As it turns out the hotel was very good on the non-dairy front, I had a whole host of meats for my morning protein fix and lactose free and rice milk (turns out I rather like rice milk) to choose from at breakfast. So everyday started with a bowl of oats and fruit and then some rice crackers with meat. While my milk was strictly non dairy most days, dairy is where the first discovery lies in this trip. Through some cautious sampling I learned that (after avoiding it for 13 years) I can eat cheese and ice cream! Granted it’s only hard cheeses and 1 scoop portion wise for ice but this is an astronomical discovery of pure joy for me, two of my favourite treats are back on the menu!

CHEESE!!!!! 😀
Oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, fresh fruit and rice milk

In fact I discovered that there are plenty of awesome options on a low FODMAP diet, over the week I sampled some awesome risottos (cuttlefish was my favourite) and tucked into plenty of fresh fish, meats and veggies. I strongly suspect that I ate some disallowed food as pretty much everything is made with garlic &/or onions and one of the rissotos did have mushrooms but I seemed to survive as long as I stayed sensible and kept portions small.

Oh look more polenta and cheese!
Octopus, polenta and ice cream were firm daily favourites and also note the breadcrumbs (that one was not a clever choice)

Aside from the occasional naughty choices (breadcrumbs, mushrooms) the only real issues I faced were 1. Under ripe bananas (I love them, my stomach does not) and one evening when we went to the hotel grill restaurant. The grill restaurant was a preset menu and in reality was all FODMAP friendly food however, I am a child of the “you can’t leave till you finish all of your dinner” generation. So this meant I attempted to consume the overly generous offering of food (there were enough fries to feed 6 people), had the food confiscated by my partner and spent the next 2-3 days in significant discomfort. Honestly when it comes to controlling my willpower, I doubt I’ll ever learn…

I’m not sure why but it was a whole tray of pork (note I devoured the park ribs before I took the photo). It was soooo good though!
Is that not a thing of beauty? Oh the yum!

So in short I worried a lot for nothing, FODMAP is tough in some aspects (mainly no Bread) but there are so many alternative options that I actually barely noticed that I was on a restricted diet. I’ve come home inspired and ready to make the most of what I’ve learned, namely with the desire to up my polenta and risotto game and get cheese and ice cream back into my life!

For now though it’s back home to a rather chilly feeling Scotland, oh well at least I have this memory to keep me warm!

Till next year Croatia! Dovidenja from my creepy wee toes!

New Recipe Alert! Tomato and Herb Turkey Burgers (Low FODMAP)

This was today’s lunch experiment and I was so pleased with it that I decided I must waste no time and get it added to the site!

This beauty is the 2nd of my Low FODMAP Recipes but it’s really a great. One for everyone as you’re free to make it your own by adding your own favourite spice combo!

I teamed them with some M&S “Made without Wheat – super seeded sandwich thins” and some of my own homemade Asafoetida Mayonnaise (another awesome recipe I need to add) and it was awesome! I’m looking forward to trying this one again and topping it with a bit o’ cheese! 

Go check it out and give it a try, you won’t regret it! Just click the photo to be taken to the recipe!

Oh they’re good!

New Recipe Alert! 

There’s two new things here! First is my new recipe for a simple Chicken and Buckwheat Salad, the second is that it’s also the first recipe in my new “Low FODMAP Recipes” section!

It’s a great on the go meal as it’s tasty hot or cold and you can make it your own by adding your favourite veggies!

Click the photo to give it a try!

FODMAP and fitness: My New Challenge

So I’ve been a little quiet over the past few weeks, both recipe and workout-wise. The truth is I’ve not been very well. For the last few months I’ve been suffering an array of uncomfortable stomach pains and issues, something that led me to reduce how much I’m eating and as a result my energy levels dropped with it. (On a side note it’s been an eye opener toward just how important your eating is for exercise)

After a string of doctor visits and tests, this week I finally got my answer. The good news: it’s unlikely that I was ever lactose intolerant. The bad news: I have irritable bowel syndrome, meaning that lactose is now one of many things I can’t eat.

It was tough but I suppose also helpful news to take. Now that I know the problem I can work on the solution; and the solution I’m told is FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-Mono-Saccharides, and Polyols). The condition is aggravated generally by these so called high FODMAP foods and my emotions/stress (no mystery why this is the worst it’s ever been then with the jobless-induced worrying), so a FODMAP restricted diet is the best way to manage it.

So now my Challenge is to reduce dairy, gluten, high-sugar foods, certain sweeteners, alcohol, fizzy drinks (this one hurt to hear), garlic and onions (rendering every spice mix in my cupboard redundant). It’s going to be difficult, but it’s also an opportunity to try new things and maybe scrap some bad habits for good (cough*fizzy juice addict*cough). 

So be prepare to see some new recipes and ingredients from me and for anyone else suffering from irritable bowel or any other restrictive diet, this is a chance to see one way of making it work for a strength training lifestyle (hopefully)!

Kickstart Change is here!

Yip it’s finally here and for me it was day 1 on my new Kickstart Change Plan!

It’s the first of what I hope to be many plans and what I hope will be the plan that gets you into strength training! My ultimate goal is to help women on the path to lifting and to show them that lifting does not make you “manly” or “bulky”.

It’s also the first step toward my goal of helping others make the move from processed to homemade food, as former ready meal addict, I’ve learned that making food from scratch isn’t actually as hard, time-consuming or expensive as you may think!

So if you’re looking to make some changes to long term changes to you life, head on over to download the plan today!

AND as if that wasn’t enough! This weeks workout challenge is also up, this week we’re working the booty and beyond so go check it out here and give it a try!

Homemade Gains Ep.3 – Coconut Mixed Nut Butter!

Yep my latest episode of Homemade Gains is live and this week it’s a truly easy and heavenly recipe! 

For Nut Butter addicts like me you MUST try this! Click here to see me make it or click the picture below to get the full recipe!

Also this weeks episode features my lovely “Little Lifter” Tank in Heather Purple, which you can get here!

Enjoy!