Sugar-Free Challenge

As you know, I had a bit of a pause from my sugar-free challenge. We went on holiday and I simply wanted to have some sweets there. To my surprise, I was not as attracted to cakes and sweet pastry as I expected myself to be, but I still had some cakes and enjoyed their pancakes. On the other hand, I was very much surprised I did not crave chocolate, chocolate bars. To be honest, when I saw some cakes on holiday or in restaurants being back from holiday, I had this weird feeling of “that’s way too sweet for me”, telling me that I knew I could have it, but I would not have enjoyed it.

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Having come back from holiday, I consciously decided to still have some sugar. So, over the last three weeks, including the holiday, I had a few cakes, ice-cream and even some soda drinks. I enjoyed it, I did not feel guilty eating it, yet I could feel the effect sugar had on my body.

Eating refined sugar, I had headaches, my skin got worse and I felt bloated. All these symptoms and my long-term goals for a healthy lifestyle led to my decision to go back to my personal sugar-free challenge.

My sugar-free is not 100% refined sugar-free as I still eat pastry and I do eat out, and as much as I try to make as healthy choices as possible while eating out, sometimes you may get a bit of sugar in pasta sauces etc. But I am sure that my daily sugar intake is within 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mostly even less or none at all. And I do not consume artificial sweeteners, those are a big No-No for me. If you want to learn more about sugar and sweeteners, check my blog post It’s all about the sugar.

So, what to eat when avoiding added sugar? Here is an example of what I eat in a day:

37812876_2225100121043490_3684150378741366784_nBreakfast: My breakfast always consists of hemp protein powder with almond or soya milk, occasionally with some fruits or spinach.

Morning snack: I would usually have some fruits in the morning, especially when at work as we get fruits in the office every Monday and Wednesday. (Yes, I know I work in a cool office 😀 )

39017497_2244268942459941_4649032266599628800_nLunch: Lunch would either be some leftovers from home, but that is rare as I do not cook much these days, or occasionally I would eat in a restaurant with my colleagues, I can recall I recently had Safran risotto. Mostly I would grab soup in one of the nearby restaurants.

Afternoon snack: When at work I am usually busy in the afternoon so I simply forget to snack, when at home I might have some nuts. During the weekend, it might be post workout pancakes as an afternoon snack or even lunch.

38862595_2242243945995774_3014138126265221120_nDinner: First of all, I would have a drop of my CBD hemp oil 30 mins before a meal. My dinners usually are scrambled eggs/salad with pastry, or we would go to eat out – Chinese, vegan, Italian etc. When I decided to really cook, I might cook something like my favorite Creamy tomato Gnocchi – click here to check the recipe. 

And of course, it is also very important to think about what you drink. I do not drink soda drinks, I do drink plenty of water which I think is the main reason why my body managed to deal with the sugar easily when I happened to had eaten sugar past three weeks.

What does your meal routine look like? Looking forward to hearing from you! Please comment below.

4 months sugar-free

The first time I went sugar free was early in 2016 when I bought a lovely wedding dress that I could barely sit in, let alone dance in or eat in. That was in April 2016 and the wedding date was 17th July 2016. I knew I had to take some serious measures. So for 2,5 months I was totally sugar free, and I mean really sugar free. My grocery shopping use to take double the time as I was checking every single food label. And those days I was not even having shakes yet, so every day choices of food were a bit of struggle, but I made it. I went through 3 weeks of sugar withdrawal symptoms which showed me how addicted I was to sugar. But at the end I lost a dress size, my wedding dress fitted perfectly and I felt great. But life happened and I slowly went back to eating sugar on regular basis.

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Over the past two years I tried to do “sugar free” again simple before I knew I felt good doing it and I knew the health benefits. Check my previous blog post called “It’s all about the sugar” to learn more about sugar and sweeteners.

On 3rd April this year I went for it. This time I did not go as OTT (over the top) as the previous time, I was still eating out, so occasional sugar intake was still happening in a form of sauces when eating out (Chinese, Italian etc). Why did I decide to go sugar free this time? In January this year we moved from the UK to Prague. As great as it has been it was also stressful and it took a bit of time settling down again in Czech after 3 years in the UK. And the last few months in the UK were not as joyful as we wished. Therefore the sugar intake at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 was quite high –  emotional binge eating.

Starting sugar free this time was much easier as my body and mind already knew what to expect. What made it easier this time was the food choices you get in Prague – so many healthy places to eat that offer even sugar free cakes. My favorite restaurant is now VegGo that offers variety of vegan food as well as variety of sugar-free cakes – my favorite is a raspberry cheesecake.

From 3rd April till 25th July I had no cakes with refined sugar, no ice cream, no cookies etc, I did not use sugar in the household either. As I said the only occasion I might have had some sugar “unknowingly” was when we were eating out. Because sometimes when you make certain sauces, such as when you cook with tomatoes, you might need to use a bit of sugar to balance out the flavors, so I guess those were few occasions I could have consumed sugar. Actually, there was one more case that I am aware of –  pastry. Czech pastry is so good, so I was still eating pastry such as bread ans baguettes. And pastry does contain a bit of sugar as sugar is needed for the yeast to work in the dough to make it rise.

Almost 4 months sugar free and I felt great. I must say I was as consistent in the gym as I wish I were over those four months, but it did not matter because the effect of sugar free was great. My skin became so smooth, especially on my bum, my bum cellulite reduced big time. My muscle definition got more visible even with reduced amount of exercise.

Sugar free was definitely a great detox for me. I only stopped on 25th July as we went on All inclusive holiday. Do not get me wrong, I am not the kind of person who goes on holiday to over eat, but I simple wanted to try some local sweets etc.

The first two days of holiday I tried some cakes, especially the chocolate ones, but to be honest they were not quite worth it. My favorite “sweet” stuff were their pancakes which became my breakfast choice together with some cinnamon and melon, and occasional evening desert choice with some coffee. As much as I do not usually drink sodas, I had few glasses of lemonade and I enjoyed it. But despite, or perhaps in-spite of all that I always made sure I was drinking plenty of water. We even carried one of our gym bottles with us and constantly kept filling it during the day.

Despite change of diet and increased sugar intake I actually did not put on any weight on holiday, I did not notice any changes in my body. And the secret being that as I detoxed my body before the holiday, my body was able to work with the acidity, also thanks to high water intake.

Having come back from holiday where was no ice cream I actually craved ice cream, so I had ice cream yesterday and I truly enjoyed it.

I definitely see benefit of being totally sugar and sweeteners free all the time – your body functions better, your skin improves, you lose weight etc. However, I think there is no reason to beat yourself up about your food choices. Remember “Eat according to your goals and be ready to deal with the consequences”.

Should you wish to go on “sugar free” journey yourself and get some tips, get in touch!

2 Simple Desserts to Warm You Up

It’s getting more and more chilly, and in this kind of weather it is good to have some simple recipes to satisfy your craving. These two recipes are suitable as breakfast, snack or dessert.

Both recipes are refined sugar free and lactose free, however they contain eggs.

 

Mug cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut flower
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of baking powder
  • Optional: maple / carob/ date syrup if you got a sweet tooth

Directions:

  1. Crack an egg into a mug and whisk it with a fork.
  2. Add sunflower oil and mix together.
  3. Add coconut flower, ground almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder in the mug and mix everything together to get a doughy texture.
  4. Put in a microwave on HIGH for 2mins.
  5. Once done you can add some fruits on top. Enjoy!

 

Scrambled egg white with banana

This recipe was inspired by one of my FAB in 8 weeks clients. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Egg white from 1 egg
  • 1tsp coconut oil
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Optional: nuts, fruits etc.

Directions:

  1. Heat a pan with coconut oil.
  2. Cut the banana into pieces and add to the pan.
  3. Add a bit of cinnamon. Optionally add chopped nuts.
  4. Once banana is nice and soft add the egg white and mix till you have mushy texture.
  5. Serve on its own or with some nuts / fruits. Enjoy!

 

 

Day 2 Intermittent Fasting

My eating window of day 2 is closing and it is time to evaluate today.

Same as yesterday, I got up today and I had a cup of green tea instead of breakfast.

I had a client for personal training at 8am. When we finished at 9am I had a bit of urge to eat. I did not feel hungry in particular, I think it was more of a result of a habit. Usually when I have personal training clients within the morning, no matter if I exercise with them or if I just stretch, or if I do my own workout in the morning I would usually eat afterwards – either friend egg on toast, scrambled eggs, protein pancakes, sandwich with hazelnut chocolate butter and banana. So, it was quite interesting to observe how is my body programmed. However, I just had another cup of tea.

I broke the fast around 12.20pm with a shake – Herbalife Cookie & Cream shake powder with almond milk, 2 tsp of hazelnut chocolate butter and defrosted fruit mix (red currant, black currant, raspberries, blackberries).

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After lunch I went to Norwich city center with my husband to sort out some stuff in my banks. W walked by Patisserie Valerie and saw all those yummy looking cakes, I could not resist to have one. I must say that last two days I feel like I crave sugar much more. I usually do have sweet tooth, but feel like the urge is even stronger now. Will observe it the next few days if the trend continues or if it was just random two days of extremely sweet tooth.

We had dinner around 5.30pm, another recipe from Gousto Recipe Box – One pot easy lamb biryani made of lamb mince, green beans, basmati rice, sultanas and white yoghurt. Simple, easy, fast and tasty.

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I must admit I did not train past two days, however I am quite lucky that my dog gets me to walk every day. Every single day I walk around 5km on average, usually even more. I think a walk in the morning, no matter if you are fasting or not, is the best thing you can do to start your day.

Now it is time for me to head back to designing ads for the next issue of the Reepham and District Community news, and I should not forget my article as well. I got a gentle reminder today that I should send everything over by the end of the week. Well since we are travelling Thursday afternoon abroad I guess I better do everything latest tomorrow. At least one ad is done. What do you think?

Copy of Copy of Fab in 8 newspaper

Gousto Recipe Box

unnamedIn my post about HelloFresh I promised an overview of Gousto services as well, so here it is.

Gousto gives you less options for recipe boxes to choose from. The setting for your box is much easier and more simple than HelloFresh:

  • A box for 2 or 4 people
  • 2 or 3 or 4 meals per box

 

Though you have a certain box pre-set in your subscription settings it is very easy to add servings or meals when you are choosing your recipes without having to change the basic settings, unlike with HelloFresh where you always have to go to the main settings.

 

Which box do I usually go for? When ordering Gousto I always order 4 meals for 2 people and it costs me just £34.99 which is even less than HelloFresh 3 meals for 2.

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However, there is few ingredients that are not provided in the Gousto recipe box compared to HelloFresh. The only stuff that you need to have at home while cooking with HelloFresh are salt, pepper and oil. There is few more things that you need to have at home while preparing Gousto meals – oil, salt, pepper, sugar, milk, flour, butter. Personally I do not buy butter, so I use olive oil spread instead as I usually forget to check what I need for the recipe. I do not use sugar, I use carob or date syrup instead which I think works even better as it is liquid form so it is easy to dissolve and mix. I do not have cow milk in the house so I usually use almond milk.

Are you thinking about giving Gousto a go? Click here to get 50% discount on your first 2 boxes https://www.gousto.co.uk/join?promo_code=ANNA317741 

 

HelloFresh Recipe Box

hellofresh-logoAs you might have noticed I buy both HelloFresh and Gousto recipe boxes. Few people have asked what is the difference between those two, so this blog is an overview of services offered by HelloFresh, and later there will be another one about services of Gousto. That way you will have all the information needed for you to decide which one to go for. However I think the best is to try both and you will see which one you prefer.

Types of HelloFresh recipe boxes: 

  • Classic Box
    • 3 meals for 2 people £39.00
    • 3 meals for 3 people £49.00
    • 3 meals for 4 people £59.00
    • 4 meals for 2 people £41.99
    • 5 meals for 2 people £49.00
  • Veggie Box
    • 3 meals for 2 people £36.00
    • 3 meals for 4 people £57.00
  • Family Box
    • 3 meals for 4 people £57.00
    • 4 meals for 4 people £64.00
  • Note: You can change the type of the box anytime – such as you can buy a bigger box when you are expecting visitors.

Recipe preference (what type of recipes are you looking for):

  • Note: Only available for 3 meals Classic Box
  • Following preferences available:
    • Chef’s choice
    • Low calories (around 600 kcal / meal)
    • Fish free
    • Pork Free
    • Quick & Easy

Delivery:

  • Free delivery to your house on the day you choose
  • In my area they delivery on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays

Subscription:

  • Boxes will be coming every week on a day you choose
  • You can pause your subscription anytime for as long as you want for no extra charge
  • This is very handy if you are to travel. Personally I get HelloFresh one week and Gousto the second week, so I pause it for every second week.

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Freebies for your friends:

In your box you will also find some handy vouchers for discounts or freebies, such as wine, Graze snack box etc. Sometimes they add samples, I have had a Kinder Bueno and Tea bags in my box.

 

I like HelloFresh because the ingredients are fresh and the recipes are simple, yet tasty. I get to cook things I would not normally cook. And they have amazing customer service, they definitely follow the rule “Customer is always right” and they solve everything fast, really amazing!

So why do I buy both HelloFresh and Gousto? Just for even bigger variety, and to be honest Gousto is actually slightly cheaper as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you about your experience with HelloFresh. Please grab the £25 discount on your first box and let me know how did you find the HelloFresh recipe box.!

 

New Recipes Inspiration

Looking to get some new inspiration for cooking?

I like to order the HelloFresh Box from time to time, just to try some new recipes. My usual style of cooking is “chuck everything you find in the fridge in preferable one pot” 😀 which is lovely, but sometimes you just need a change of flavors. And I do not like to search for recipes and then having to look for the ingredients in the shops. And that is what I like about HelloFresh – new recipes and you get all the ingredients delivered to your house.

So what is HelloFresh? You get your box with ingredients and a recipe card delivered to your home, and you can choose from variety of boxes:

  • Classic box for 2 to 4 adults where you get to select which recipes you want
  • Veggie box for 2 to 4 adults with vegetarian recipes
  • Family box for 2 adults and 2 children

I personally get the Classic Box with 3 meals for 2 adults and I chose the “Low calorie” option so I get recipes with around 600 kcal per portion, nice and light.

And you can choose how often would you like to get your delivery. I just get it every now and then, no need for a subscription (To do so you have to pause the delivery in your delivery calendar)

Click on this link to get £25 off your first order https://www.hellofresh.co.uk/offers/eqxmfn/?c=R93FAS

Stay Healthy this Summer

Summer is here – barbecues, picnics, ice cream, cocktails, refreshing soda drinks. As a personal trainer I often get asked this time of the year how to stay healthy in summer with all these ‘treats’ around us; how not to ‘over-treat’ ourselves, how not to over-eat and over-indulge.

Well, the most important thing to consider while choosing what you put in your body is your health of course, healthy diet contributes towards overall wellbeing. The second thing we have to consider is our goals – what are your health and fitness goals? The food choices will be different for everyone. I provide my clients will nutrition advice, but at the end I always tell them: ‘Eat according to your goals and be ready to deal with the consequences!’ E.g. if you are on a ‘fat loss’ journey, then avoid cakes and ice cream, unless they are home-made and sugar free, till you reach your goal. However, it is also very important to enjoy everything we eat. There is no point to have a cake, feel guilty about it and beat yourself up.

healthy-summer

Here are few tips for your healthy summer:

  1. Enjoy the outdoors. Walk when you can and play outside. Walk to your local store, replace driving with walking as much as you can. Spend time in the garden, do some gardening or go to the park to play football with your children.
  2. Preparation is the key!
    Going for a trip? Prepare your food at home and take it with you! If you know you are leaving the house for more than 2 hours make sure you take some snacks with you!
    What can you possibly take with you? Make a salad, add some falafel, eggs, nuts or berries in it to make it even more filling. You can also make some sandwiges, eg with avocado spread. You can also make a smoothie or a shake (if you are adding milk to your shake, rather use almond or soya milk). Also make sure you have some fruits and nuts with you.
  3. Eat on regular basis! We all know that especially kids are hungry all the time. And we should be eating on regular basis as well!
    It might sound like a cliche, but breakfast really is the key. Make sure you eat at least 5 times a day – breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. Make sure you always have something easy to make and snack on in your fridge and cupboards – stock up on fruits, veg, nuts, seeds, berries etc.
  4. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water! Always have a water bottle for yourself and your children in your bag!
    Bored of plain water? Infuse your water with fruit or herbs!
  5. Know what you eat! Make your own dressings and sauces! Sauces and dressings from a shop are usually high in sugar or sweeteners.

 

 

For more tips on nutrition and fitness visit my FB page www.facebook.com/TheFABTransformationCoach or my blog www.thefabtransformationcoach.com

 

5 Days Eat Clean Challenge

Do you feel like your body needs a change?
Do you want to change your lifestyle but you are not quite sure what would the change feel like?
Do you want to have a “test drive” of a healthy lifestyle?
Do you want to establish healthy eating habits?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above then I have a solution for you – 5 Days Eat Clean Challenge!

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5 Days Eat Clean Challenge is designed to jump start you into living healthier and more active! Over the 5 days we will introduce you to elements of living a healthy active
lifestyle as well as daily challenges to inspire you.

 

Each of the five days is dedicated to one challenge – one health and fitness related topic:

  • Day 1 – Healthy Breakfast
  • Day 2 – Healthy Meal
  • Day 3 – Water Challenge
  • Day 4 – Fitness & Community
  • Day 5 – Gratitude & Accountability

How does it work? We have a Facebook Messenger / Whatsapp Group with all the participants for that particular 5 Days Eat Clean Challenge. I will set up the group on Sunday with instructions on Monday and you will be getting tips, instructions and healthy meals ideas throughout the 5 days.

If you are interested in my next 5 Days Eat Clean Challenge please fill the form below:

 

 

Look & Feel FAB in 8 weeks

FAB in 8 weeks is a special programme for new clients. If you are a current client or you are looking for “pay as you go” personal training or you wish to enroll our group workout Reepham Fit Club, please choose related option in the drop-down menu of the Services tab.

Enroll a special 8 weeks program for just £99 to see that we are a good match and it works well for you!

Do you want to lose weight OR get toned OR gain weight? Simply look and feel good?
Do you want to learn how to enjoy what you eat without having to feel guilty?
Do you want to get into exercise but you need some guidance?
Are you looking for someone to keep you accountable?
Do you want to gain “I can” attitude?

If you answered YES to any of these questions then this is definitely the right programme for you!

What will you get:

  • Before & After photos and measurements
  • Body composition analysis
  • Tailored workouts
  • Demonstration and practice of each exercise in your workout programme
  • 1x 1-2-1 session with me/ week
  • A workbook with tracking sheets
  • Healthy recipes & Meal ideas
  • Mindset coaching

 

Get your next 4 weeks FREE of charge* if you:

  • Have your Before & After photos and measurements taken
  • Stick to your designed workout
  • Follow nutrition advice
  • Attend your 1-2-1 workout sessions
  • Provide a written and a video testimonial
  • Share your experience with your friends on social media weekly during the 8 weeks programme

And enjoy your next 4 weeks programme (worth £99) for free!

If you friend signs up for the FAB in 8 weeks programme, you get an extra 45min 1-2-1 for free!

*Detailed Terms & Conditions to be discussed when enrolling the FAB in 8 weeks programme.