Tag Archives: healthy living

New Year’s resolutions: my tips to keep them up

Mixed salad - find it on the recipe page

Mixed salad – find it on the recipe page

Hey there!

If you are doubting your ability to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions, read my tips!

1. Going public! Writing a blog and telling people is a way to keep the pressure up. When other people know about your resolutions, it somehow makes you want to succeed more. Maybe it’s because you are setting a good example? I don’t know for sure. When I proudly write about how healthy I am and how happy that makes me, people start looking at me differently. I met up with a friend not long ago who told me they thought I was so healthy they looked up to me. I was shocked! I didn’t realise that writing about my healthy recipes made me appear like a health coach. I think my friend felt like they were not as good as me. I need to make things clear here, yes I post the healthy recipes I make on this blog, and I write about how happy I am to be healthier and to exercise, but it doesn’t mean in any way that it’s how I am every day of the week!! Some days I just have enough of the cold weather and working from home. I feel isolated or tired and that’s when chocolate and other comfort foods come into the picture. My eating habits are not perfect. I don’t spend my days cooking and singing in my kitchen a la Bree Van der Kamp! But knowing that I connect with other bloggers and that I have been read and watched through the Food Revolution website always reminds me of my resolutions. I want to be honest and true to people and to myself. Ultimately, I want to be healthy and feel well. I think, and I might be a little over excited by it, but I think I am inspiring other people who are also aiming to be healthier. Just the way they inspire me. It gives me wings and makes me want to carry on.

2. Be open to changes. Things don’t always go according to plan. Life brings ups and downs, so expect it, and don’t let it discourage you. You need to see the bigger picture! It’s not about being thinner next month, or running further next week. It’s about building a healthy routine with the long term in mind. If you look at the whole year, you can see your achievements better. You won’t become unfit just because you don’t exercise for two weeks. It’s the same for food.

3. Speaking of changes… I started running about a month after the resolutions. It just worked out well with eating well. I have now registered for a 10 km race. It encourages me to train and eat well in order to perform well on the day of the race. It’s almost as if the New Year’s resolutions have evolved throughout the year, and I’m okay with that. They might change again later in the year, I’m looking forward to see where it will take me.

4. The key word for me: ACHIEVABLE. Small achievable resolutions are more likely to be kept than big ones. Again, think in the long term. What matters to me is how healthy I will be for the next 20 years. This year, I eat less refined carbohydrates. By the end of the year, I should be used to this new lifestyle and find it just normal. Next year, I can focus on something else. It may take time but the aim is really to become healthier for good.

I see it like this:

One main goal = eating well and be healthy

Several small achievements will help reaching that goal. One at a time.

I hope my tips will help at least one person, please get in touch if you want to share your own experiences of keeping up your resolutions. Would love to hear them!

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Quinoa salad with feta cheese

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Yes, I finally bought quinoa! Everyone is talking about it these days. I felt like I was behind not knowing about it. For those of you who don’t know (like me last week), quinoa is a seed providing protein, carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is a good protein alternative for vegetarian and vegan people. It can be used in salads and other dishes, such as couscous, making it a nutrient-rich alternative for people with gluten intolerance as well. What a discovery, right?

So I made a quinoa salad with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese.

Verdict: Wow! Maybe I’m just a huge cheese fan but honestly, feta cheese, quinoa, tomatoes and olive oil is an amazing combination! Interesting texture, a bit soft but light as well. The taste of the seed on its own is rather bland, which means it is good news for adapting recipes. I think you can make it any way you like. Next I’m going to try a couple of recipes I saw on others blogs. One was a quinoa version of chilli con carne and the other had roasted sweet potatoes and goat cheese. I like the sound of it. Meanwhile, starting with a salad as a first ever quinoa experience is good to get an idea of what quinoa is like, tastes like. I think if you know an ingredient well, you are more likely to cook it well and make tasty recipes out of it.

This salad makes a delicious healthy and light lunch. I can also picture it on a summer night, dinning in the garden or at a picnic.

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How to make the salad:

Simply boil the quinoa following the instructions on the packet, slice the tomatoes and cucumber. Add all the ingredients and serve.

Ingredients:

  • A handful of quinoa
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 1cm wide slice of feta cheese
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper

Quinoa nutritional information: per cooked 100g

  • calories: 120
  • protein: 4.4
  • carbohydrate: 21.3
  • sugar: 0.6
  • fat: 1.9
  • fibre: 2.8
  • also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, Folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc (source: Wikipedia)

It’s spring people! Let’s eat healthy cake and go running!

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Hi everyone, I’m looking for a running buddy for morning runs on weekdays. Anyone interested please leave a comment at the bottom of the page or email me. Would be great to hear from you :)

I know… It doesn’t feel like spring yet. But it is here and with it comes the urge to get those legs fit and looking good for summer. When the sun dares pointing the tip of its nose out here, I can assure you nothing beats a riverside run. Happy times coming ahead!

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Clockwise from top left: On my running route, pub with rooftop terrace overlooking the river, a happy runner in red, Hammersmith bridge in the distance, and a seagull feeling the breeze.

Let’s go!

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Don’t buy diet food!

I have just read a very well written, short and straight to the point blog post by Casey on her blog CASEYWILSON-THENUT.

She explains how diet food often is depleted in nutrients and loaded in chemicals that are meant to recreate the taste of real food.

No nutrients but chemicals? That’s not how I want to eat!

Give it a read, it’s really short and worth it!

http://caseywilson-thenut.com/2013/03/21/dont-buy-diet-food/

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Healthy, tasty dinner for lazy people

Hello you! Yes, you, the one who does not wish to spend more than 10 minutes in the kitchen. I have a recipe for you today!

Baked salmon fillet and stir-fried green vegetables

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Ingredients:

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • green peas
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Season the salmon with pepper and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

3. Put olive oil in a frying pan, add the broccoli and peas. Cook for 5 minutes then add the spinach. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve

I like to make this recipe because it’s easy and quick. It doesn’t require any cooking skills and above all it is very nutritious!

  1. Salmon is loaded in Omega 3 fatty acids, good for heart health.
  2. Spinach is rich in folate, known for its mood enhancer.
  3. Broccoli has vitamins A, C and E. A and E are fat soluble vitamins, therefore, good to eat with oily fish. Vit E and vit C are antioxidants, which are good for fighting free radicals.
  4. Peas provide slow-release carbohydrate, protein and contain vit A and E as well as other good stuff (magnesium, potassium, zinc, etc.).

Definitely this week’s winner dinner!

Back home to Lyon for a family reunion…

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… and the kitchen is already full of food!

(Thursday)

I arrived from the 11am Easyjet flight this morning. The pilot said it was raining in Lyon but when we landed the sun was shining and dad was waiting for me in the arrival area. We drove home to find mum in the middle of feeding lunch to her grandson, my lovely 2 year old nephew. After his afternoon nap, we all went grocery shopping for the weekend. You see, this weekend we are reuniting for the 1st time since a year ago: my parents, brother, sister and her two kids and me, all together at the same place at the same time. It’s a miracle!

There is a reason why we managed to get this organized: we are celebrating our birthdays. All of our birthdays! We were all born in February, March and April (except dad, but he will get his own special celebration later this year).

I am loving the atmosphere here today. I can feel there is something special in the air. My brother will land tonight from Vancouver and we are going to meet his girlfriend. My sister will arrive tomorrow with her eldest, who does miss his uncle Charles a lot. I can tell my parents are excited even though they are not making a fuss.

It is going to be a good weekend!

But – there is a but – I have been doing so well on my New Year’s resolutions (see the ‘About’ page) that I am getting a bit nervous about how it’s going to go here. Canapés, cheese, bread, cakes, wine, etc. It all looks so good and smells so deeeeelicious! We got the bread from a local traiteur that make the best country style bread in town. It smelled so good in the car on the way back!

Anyway, all I’m saying is I am a little concerned about this weekend going a bit overboard if not totally, but I just remembered: “When you have healthy habits, indulging every now and again won’t make a difference on your health”.

Therefore, I am now ready to enjoy this long waited for reunion, sharing good food and wine and our stories of the past year.

(Saturday)

Last night dad cooked! It’s a “once-a-year” event!! His favourite and very own recipe is stuffed tomatoes. He makes them with love and it’s always a success. Check out the recipe on my recipe page.

Stuffed tomato and rice

Stuffed tomato and rice

(Monday)

Oh dear! I just read that and I see all I was worried about was me eating too much. Well, I’m an optimist, what can I do?! Sure I ate and drank too much this weekend but honestly it’s no big deal.

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Pain au chocolat, croissant, baguette, brioche and bugnes

Kids and their mummy have just gone and the house is quiet again. It feels strange. As if something was missing. They are loud but it’s so much fun to have them around. However I must say, four days with brother, sister, nephews who fight and cry (not all the time, thank god!), and grand parents is a bit overwhelming. But hey, that’s family!

I will go back to London tomorrow feeling refreshed and ready to face revision period, yes, even immunology. I’m ready!

That’s what family does to me. I am glad we are a strong loving family and looking forward to seeing them again.

Family at work

Family working hard in the kitchen

February Recap

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A new month has just begun and before I start getting excited about the activities that I have planned for March, I would like to do a little recap on February.

Regarding food choices, I must admit I haven’t always been healthy last month. Nothing to worry about though, because as I said before, my New Year’s resolutions were not to become a perfect eater, but to make some changes in my eating habits. Last month, when I ate junk food or drank too much, it impacted on my mood and energy for up to four days! Which made buying healthy food and cooking look a lot less fun! Thankfully it’s all back to normal in my kitchen, fridge and cupboards and I can now start telling you about all the good things that I have done last month!

  •  I cooked a little

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  • I froze a lot
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Green vegetable soup (see recipe page)

  • I ran a fair bit: twice a week for about an hour. Feeling good about that!
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Morning riverside runs are the best!

Well it’s not always this sunny…

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But the ducks are always around

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and so are the rowers! (in the yellow boat)

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  • And the Award for Best Activity in February goes to: the live hangout with nutritionist Dr. Willett and two Food Revolution ambassadors Lindsey and Claire as part of the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution foundation. It was my 1st live hangout and as much as I would like to pretend I’m not the kind of person who gets nervous, I am. So I was pretty nervous. But discussing subjects such as “a child’s health improving thanks to healthy eating” and “school children growing veg” turned out to be so interesting that I forgot about the nervousness. Good job girls! Thank you : )
Photographs by (clockwise) Aubrey LaMedica, Peter Hawley and Lindsey Shifley

Photographs by (clockwise) Aubrey LaMedica, Peter Hawley and Lindsey Shifley

Now, what’s coming up in March?

I see cooking classes are getting popular, judging by the amount of Groupon offers I receive every day for them. So, it gave me an idea. I am thinking of setting up a cooking club. It is only just a thought yet but I might write about it soon and if I do, you will be invited to join me for some kitchen fun! Yay!

Mother’s day is coming up. I will be with my mum in France when that happens, giving us a good reason for cooking with the family. That’s something to look forward to! Don’t worry I’ll take pictures!

And then, exam stress will start. That’s NOT something I’m looking forward to, at all! Might not take pictures of that.

That is all for today. Got to get ready to go to my 11am lecture. In this beautiful weather, I am definitely walking!!

See ya!