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Showing posts from tagged with: summer

Staying healthy in summer

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Mindful | 0 comments

11.08.16

1238742_10151587827986227_622587189_n So you've spent the upcoming months (or perhaps a couple weeks) worshipping green juices, chia puddings and quinoa salads and slaving away in the gym in hope for your ideal beach body. You have been on a role keeping the 80:20 lifestyle and way of eating; having kept drinking for the weekends only (Thursday's do count as the weekend..). However, it seems that all this hard work is then threatened by the minute that holiday feeling strikes on the onset of the odd British heat wave, or even more so when we are holidaying abroad. At home, festival food trucks, BBQ's and pimms infiltrate the social scene whilst multiple rounds of gelato and pina coladas are our vice when travelling abroad. The temptation to binge and regress on the slippery slope of sugar and salt saturation is imminent, especially once once glass of rose has been consumed and you proceed to feel the drunken munchies. pimms_04 Of course, a balance of treats is necessary especially when you are on holiday. However, the feeling of sluggishness and bloating is all too familiar post day drinking and feasting. It is surprisingly easy to slip into an unhealthy cycle of continuous indulgence which may leave you stranded back to square one, far off from the healthy vision your ever had. Therefore, whether you are enjoying the sun abroad or just at home, here are some ways to keep on track with your body (and mind) and tips to be mindful of in keeping a healthy lifestyle over the summer months.

Don't be lazy!

200259790-001 When the sun is out, the thought of working out in the gym may be highly unappealing. So why not maintain your fitness outdoors? Start off your day the right way by going for a run in the morning. This will stimulate your metabolism as well as giving you the 'running high' due to the happy hormones that are released. The benefits are reaped as you are mentally and physically better set up for the day; an excuse to eat as much as you want at the family BBQ! surfing-barry-pics-2-186-e1427739794161 Understandably, a strenuous workout will not be prioritised (unless you are Kayla Itsines) when holidaying in the Caribbean. However, before you idly lady on the lounger to sunbathe all day with a cocktail in hand, you should make time to keep active and take full advantage of the environment around you. This is a great way to balance out indulgent meals and reduce bloating from the sugary drinks you may be having. If you are on a city break, choose the most active option to walk sight seeing rather than public transport if possible. This may seem like common sense, but it can be easy to become lazy and lethargic when hot weather takes over.

Be mindful of empty calories

Mason-Jar-Mojitos-finished4 It's 3pm and before you know it, you've sipped through too many cocktails to count. As delicious as pimms, pina colada and fruity Rekorderlig can be, these drinks are consumed as empty calories due to their high sugar content but very low nutritional value. What's more, they do nothing for your hangover the next day. Counting calories is considered prehistoric when practiced as a means for dieting. However, one should be aware that cocktails such as pina coladas, long island ice tea and margarita can contain up to 780 calories! be-healthy-alcohol-calories-151204a It is important to keep in mind the drinks which are more calorific than others. Consider swapping your tonic water for slimline or sofa to effectively lower the amount of empty calories you are consuming. Asking for less sugar in cocktails is another simple way to reduce your sugar intake. The result is a refreshing drink that is still delicious. Moderation is key.   calories

H2O

It is very difficult to not eat with our eyes at first glance at of a BBQ spread of food. There are a few ways to help pace your speed of eating vast amounts of food which firstly involves quenching any pangs of false hunger to cause to think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Drink plenty of water prior to having a meal. bbq-summer-food-spread Drinking too much alcohol can result in dehydration, leading to a pounding headache the next day. Avoid feeling faint or light headed by drinking water in between alcoholic drinks and plenty especially if the temperatures are high.  

Remember SPF

sunscreenissexy-feat-prime-750x400 Forgetting to put SPF on even on cloudy days exposes your skin to free radicals and harmful UVA and UVB rays. In extreme cases, staying out in the sun for too long without sunscreen can result in skin damaging burns and heat stroke.  

AVOIDING THE FAD SUMMER DIET..

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03.08.16

AVOIDING FAD DIETS!

For a long time, we have collectively been aware of the fact the fad diets do not work, however so many of us continually appear to get caught up in the cycle of eating less, losing weight fast, to then only go and put it back on again soon after. As the Summer Season is in full swing, it’s essential to ensure that we are aware of this common Summer Diet, and aim to eat as mindfully as possible as the indulgence is taken up a gear! Occasionally, phrases similar to “if I’m good” or “I deserve it” can float around, allowing us to feel as though food can be used as either a punishment or a reward, however it’s much more productive to gain some balance and perspective on the food we eat at this time of year.

EAT A HEALTHY BREKKIE

It’s the old fave that we all know but don’t always abide by, yes you guessed it (well, it is in the sub heading…), eat breakfast! Ensuring you eat a healthy first meal of the day will of course set you up for the day ahead, but will more importantly allow you to worry less about what you eat for the rest of the day (within reason, of course!). If you are to have a smoothie bowl packed with goodness and topped with seeds, fruit or cacao nibs, with a glass of fresh juice, a herbal tea or another healthy alternative, you will automatically feel as though you are on course for a healthier day and subconsciously want to remain feeling super healthy, but will equally not be as worried about having what you really want for dinner!

DON’T BE FOOLED

A word of guidance now, don’t be fooled by the false promises of fad diets, as let’s face it, they make you feel well and truly miserable! Remember when the sun is out, it’s a lot easier to thrive off raw fruit and veg, with a naturally lower calorie content than other foods and undoubtedly bursting with goodness! Try keep up your healthy eating with exciting recipes and delicious seasonal fruit and veg.

PORTION PROPERLY

Many people fear the phrase “portion control” as it can come with negative connotations, however the premise of it really is to ensure you don’t overload your plate with an unnecessary amount of food. If fad-ing is a familiar thing for you, aim to exercise portion control (or whichever way you wish to phrase it) when having the more indulgent foods, as the misery from under eating can swing the other way once the 10th profiterole has been consumed, meaning you end up feeling equally as bad, and resulting in the lead up to a fad diet being on the cards! Portion properly throughout the day and you one, won’t be as ravenous when meal time hits, and two, will be able to enjoy your choice of meal without any of the ‘guilty’ repercussions.

SNACK YOUR HEART OUT

Snacking sometimes has a bad rep, however if you want to avoid feeling the need to fad in the future, snacking is a consistent and reliable way of ensuring that you aren’t going to reach for the choccy biscuits or family bag of crisps later on in the evening. Preparing small, sandwich - style bags with nuts, seeds, dried fruit or fresh fruit is a brilliant way of knowing that you have food on you for emergency hunger situations, in turn encouraging you to snack healthily, resulting in there being no need for over-indulging, and you feeling extremely satisfied in the long run.

CHILL OUT

It’s easy to fall into the all-or-nothing trap of eating, presuming that, if you eat really heathily for a week, you are then granted permission to eat whatever you want (binge style) a day following this; As soon as this is over, you end up feeling somewhat guilty about the quantity and quality of food you have consumed, and there begins the fad diet once again. By ensuring that you have a relaxed approach to your eating schedule, your decisions regarding the food you eat will be much easier as you will inevitably act more instinctively and if you wish to eat something healthy or alternatively unhealthily, it will be a more conscious, less impulsive decision. Whilst bearing these points in mind, it’s important to acknowledge that different things work for different people, and so to only commit to eating brekkie or consuming healthy snacks is absolutely fine, just as long as it works for you and your daily routine, as let’s face it, we can’t always do everything we know we should do all the time! So steer away from those age old fads if you’re looking for long term health and happiness, just make sure you enjoy the journey while you’re doing it!

Summer Comfort Eating Essentials

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22.07.16

Summer Comfort Food We all have moments where a home comfort meal makes us feel the world of good. Generally speaking, comforting food comes in the form of something which doesn’t always make you feel that great after consumption though, however with a few changes we can still enjoy these same comforts but with a healthy twist, and subsequently enjoy them guilt free.

CHIPS!

There are different kinds of chip eaters - whether you’re a sharer, an occasional enjoyer, a wrap them up and take them home to enjoy on your own kind of person, or someone who simply can’t get enough of them, a portion of the nation’s favourite shaped potato doesn’t ever go amiss. However, they aren’t always the healthiest option; the humble sweet potato though makes for an entirely different story. One of our absolute favourite home comfort alternatives comes in the form of sweet potato fries, and is a great way also of getting a wonderful amount of beta-carotene, fibre and hair, nail and skin nourishing goodness into your system without any compromise on comfort! Simply slice them, add a small drizzle of olive oil, herbs, and whichever flavourings take your fancy, and pop them in the oven - it really couldn’t be easier!

SPAG BOL

The perfect carby comfort food, try spirallazing your favourite vegetable, we like butternut squash, courgette or carrot and gently cook these in a drizzle of oil until softened. Serve with your favourite veggie packed Bolognese and a generous helping of reduced fat cheese, or a lighter cheese such as feta. Another great option is buckwheat or brown rice pasta, as they are completely gluten free as well as healthful and honestly taste just as good. Try mashing together an avocado, basil, lemon and pine nuts for a healthy creamy alternative too!

PANCAKES

Making for the perfect Sunday brunch option (or just whichever meal takes your fancy), it’s undeniable that these are some of our favourite go-to’s for an indulgent, home comfort-style meal. However, with the general ingredients for our favourite round indulgence being not extremely healthy, and therefore not something we generally indulge in on a daily basis, its important to recognise the ingredients which will make up for this so that we can do just that! Ingredients which are great for this include oats, banana, almond milk, medjool dates and more - all completely natural and make for a delicious, energy abundant treat whenever takes your fancy.

COOKIES

Try a cashew coconut cookies for a wonderfully crunchy snack with a slight Christmassy feel to them with the ginger and cinnamon element to them. As well as this, chocolate-banana oat cookies are a great alternative to our choccy childhood faves, with cacao powder and date syrup creating the flavours we all love and once again, oats and bananas the consistency. They really are great, and you can be rest assured once you smell them exiting the oven, it will be as though you have been transformed back to your childhood home treats once again. So enjoy your tasty summer comfort foods, on us!

Vegan Recipes for your Next Summer Picnic

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Uncategorized | 0 comments

30.06.16

The summer season is here and we're all ready to kick back and relax, enjoying the weather with our friends and family. Pack your blanket and your basket because we have 5 fun new picnic recipes to share this summer! These great recipes are a great way to sneak your veggies in! 1.)Vegan Mushroom Rolls Who needs sausage rolls when you can have mushroom rolls! If Jamie Oliver can eat vegan so can you! Stuffed with a flavourful herby mushroom fulling these vegan mushroom rolls will be irresistible at your next picnic! Check out the recipe here! Vegan Mushroom Rolls 2.) Mexican Black Bean, Avocado, Corn and Quinoa Salad Packed full of flavour and topped with refreshing orange segments this Mexican inspired salad will be a hit at your summer picnic! Try topping with some broccoli and pumpkin Giving Tree crisps for added crunchy texture! Get the recipe here! HEALTHY-Vegan-Mexican-Quinoa-Salad-with-Black-Beans-Corn-Avocado-and-a-Creamy-Orange-Chili-Dressing-vegan- 3.) Easy Sesame Brussels Sprouts Slaw This recipe is so quick and easy you can make it in no time! Check out the full recipe here! Easy Brussels Sprouts slaw   4.) Sweet Potato Burger This sweet potato burger looks so delicious and so easy to take on the go! It's sure to be a favourite among children and adults alike! Check out the full recipe here! sweet-potato-burger   5.) Vegan Pumpkin Brownies These fudgey pumpkin brownies would be a delightful addition to any picnic regardless of the weather! Check out the recipe here!                          Pumpkin Brownies   With all these great dishes and desserts your picnic is sure to be a success! Also the great thing about these recipes is they all include a serving or more of fruits or vegetables. Smash in your fibre and your five a day at your next picnic! For more great picnic ideas click here! or here!

Summer Kitchen Prep Made Easy!

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06.06.16

It’s easy to let the healthy eating slide when the Summer months come into play, however it’s surprisingly easy to stay healthy with just a few simple pre planning tips. We use time as an excuse but when you consciously set aside a decent amount of time to mass prepare for the week (or longer), the time saved is brilliant, and you will be able to enjoy the sun without compromising on what you put into your body. From food to tupperware, and shopping to chopping, we have some of our top tips for prepping your kitchen for the summer months. Invest in tupperware, it's the backbone of eating healthy in the summer months, as without any, the excuses would multiply as to why we can’t stay healthy on the go or pre make as many healthy meals as possible. Investing in tupperware is a brilliant way of allowing you to prepare meals that can be stored in the freezer for as long as you like. Alternatively, tupperware is a great way to allow you to prepare things like carrot sticks and hummus as well as large salads, or even some raw treats you’ve prepared previously to take into school or work as a snack. We love Giving Tree snacks, especially broccoli and pumpkin with hummus and fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumber too. FullSizeRender Fruit at it’s ripest can be extremely expensive when it’s boxed up or packed in supermarkets, however if you plan ahead that you would like to have a certain fruit perhaps in 3-4 days time, then buying the whole fruit as opposed to the pre-prepared version will firstly be cheaper, and secondly be ready for you to chop up once you are finally ready to eat it, as opposed to feeling as though you have to eat it as soon as it’s bought. Try to head to supermarkets or market stalls selling fruit and veggies at the end of the day, as their ripest fruit will inevitably have to be sold or thrown away, so you will be able to buy the most delicious produce at a fraction of the price - score!! Dust Off That Smoothie Maker - having equipment like a smoothie maker (or blender) at the back of the cupboard does no one any good when wanting to create delicious and healthy drinks for the summer months, right? However if you make the blender a necessary part of your summer drinking routine, it can cut down so much time when you are wanting to get some of the good stuff into your system. Buying frozen berries and lots of bananas as well as throwing in some spinach or kale (for example) can create something extremely healthful, delicious, quick to make and filled with lots of energising goodness to keep you going all morning. They can be so affordable and really do allow you to get in a lot of goodness without having to invest in expensive equipment or ingredients. Plan Meals Ahead - if you know you will be in for four nights in a particular week, perhaps prepare something the Sunday before and allow yourself to be rest assured that the meals will be ready to eat without any thought having to go into it on your part during the week. Ensure you have all the ingredients ready to prepare something which you know you will want to eat in the summer months, and inevitably allow yourself a stress free week of healthy summer meals - it saves so much time and allows you to enjoy the meals you love without worrying about creating them in the week. Cool Blocks and Picnic Bags Tis the season for picnics, and without cool blocks and picnic bags, we end up with a soggy or warm concoction of food we earlier wanted but not so much once it’s been carried all the way to the park or house! It sounds obvious, but ensuring you have the necessities to keep your food and drink the way you created them is a luxury many don’t enjoy in the summer because of those small mistakes!   Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.03

Why summer bod blues need to be banished!

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08.04.16

We can all get extremely caught up in the pressure to conform to trying to sculpt what is perceived as the ‘perfect summer body.Generally the media portrays summer bodies as women that are generally beautifully toned, tanned and without the lumps and bumps we spend hours deliberating over, however it is not the way, even with regular exercise combined with a healthy diet, everybody’s bodies look on the same regime. Things are slowly changing, though not fast enough; generally people are becoming more personally accepting of their different body types which is brilliant, however what it’s doing as a result of this is taking away the importance of eating a healthful and nutrient - dense diet in the process. To eat healthily isn’t only to create the most glowing version of yourself, but to have the right foods on the inside to allow you to be the absolute best version of yourself is what counts the most as it will encourage you to flourish in every area of your life. Here are a few foolproof ways of letting your very own ‘summer body’ flourish the way it should do minus the pressure to succumb to the ideals we’re all too used to.. DON’T SWEAT IT You don’t have to be a personal trainer to know that exercise is extremely vital for your overall health and wellbeing, not only for your body but for your mind. However by not following the workout ‘of the year’ or subscribing to the latest set of work out videos doesn’t automatically mean you won’t feel amazing. The most important factor to consider when aiming to organise your work out regime is to only look into doing things you enjoy or you will result in giving up before you’ve even begun. If you dread running or can’t stand yoga, the answer is simple, don’t do it. There are a wealth of different options out there to explore when it comes to exercise, from boxing combined with pilates, a variety of HITT workouts, fluorescent spinning classes or local boot camps.. the only advice to really consider, is not to worry which path to exercising you take, but just to simply get moving in whichever way makes you happy.   londonpigeon BE INTUITIVE There are countless diet plans and ‘rules’ out there to follow but many disclaim that ultimately what you eat has to work for you. Some people may thrive off a diet filled with lots of good fats including avocado and nuts, and others’ bodies may completely disagree with it, equally a certain amount of carbohydrate in a person’s diet may need to be different depending on whether or not their body can take it and thrive off it. Ultimately, the best diet that works for you will be the one that allows you to want to wake up each morning and reach your fullest potential whilst enjoying the food that you’re eating. Food shouldn’t just be fuel, though at the same time it should provide your body (most of the time) with the potential to be the best version of yourself and ultimately feel amazing. DRESS TO FLATTER So much of the time, the latest fashion trend be it in swim wear, work out gear or day-to-day clothes is advertised as the only way to stay fashion-forward however it’s not always the best way for everyone. Going back to the idea that no diet or work out regime is best for everyone, neither is the same outfit. Half of trick to feeling great (other than exercise and diet) is ensuring that you dress to flatter your body shape. Yes we can all work towards achieving the optimum healthy weight and therefore size for our shape but fundamentally all of our body shapes are different, and what may flatter one persons’ body type might not quite look the same on someone else. It’s important to consider this when buying clothes/swim wear/work out attire, as ultimately what you see is, in the moment, almost as important in the way you feel as if you look you best you will feel you best, so embrace the opportunity each morning to wake up and dress in a way that will enhance the way you feel. Finally, don't forget that you can indulge in healthy snacks - chocolate whey hey ice cream (high protein, no added sugar) makes the perfect summer snack along with our Giving Tree crisps!   IMG_3621