Recipe: Apple & Banana bread bake by Melissa Hemsley (V)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Apple and Banana bread bake loaf

I went along to my local IKEA Greenwich store last week for a foodie workshop event called “Waste Not, Want Not”. It was hosted by the lovely Melissa Hemsley (from Hemsley + Hemsley) and was about making the most with food and learning throw nothing away.

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We were ushered into the sleek kitchen showroom by Maria from IKEA Greenwich who ticked us off the registration list as we entered. Melissa poured us all a glass of water, sparkling lemon or lingonberry mixed cordial which looked lovely but I stuck with the lemon which was refreshing. We were then told that we were going to receive Melissa’s latest cookbook, Eat Happy as a gift which was a wonderful surprise! She also happily signed it for each and every one of us. 🙂

The event night

Melissa then introduced herself to us and talked about her love for cooking and how she lives by the “waste not, want not” motto which was the take-home message of this workshop. Growing up with strong Filipino traditions and culture, she explained to us that her mother made sure she never wasted food. I think it must be an Asian thing as I always remember my parents saying the same thing to me when I was young and as a result, I too rarely waste food. I always had to finish my bowl of food and was never allowed to throw it away… or else there’d be trouble!

The workshop was supposed to include a live cooking demo but because of some technical issues with the cooker it didn’t happen so instead we got lots of tips and advice from Melissa on how to build a ‘waste not want not food bowl’ from unwanted bits and bobs sitting in the fridge (there’s also a recipe for this in the Eat Happy cookbook).

Food glorious food

She constructed a simple, beautifully presented bowl filled with chickpeas, boiled eggs, radishes, green beans, a leafy salad and feta cheese – all topped off with a light dressing. I love healthy food bowls but never really knew how to construct it properly so seeing it done was very helpful.

We all chatted about food and how some foods can have so many ways of cooking it or eating it. For example when eating an orange, instead of throwing the rind away, zest it and use the shavings to infuse sugar or add it to another dish. Alternatively you can even save the rind and use it as potpourri.

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Melissa’s apple and banana bread bake

 

Banana and apple bread bake

During our chat, Melissa pointed out the delicious cake that caught everyone’s attention; the banana and apple bread bake! She posted up the recipe on her instagram page @melissa.hemsley the following day and I was keen to give it a try. It smelled so so divine at the workshop, I knew I had to get back to baking.

See Melissa’s Banana & Apple bread bake recipe post here

The banana bread bake came out so soft and fluffy. I don’t know if that’s how soft it’s supposed to be but I love it like that. Occasionally a heavy stodgy banana bread hits the spot but this evening a lighter version was perfect. I decided to make mine a little different and changed the recipe slightly – simply because I didn’t have all the ingredients at home so just made it up as I went along which turned out great!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Cake Recipes
Tada! Here’s my delicious apple and banana bread loaf – super moist and tasty!
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Apple and Banana bread bake loaf
So happy how my bread loaf turned out!

Here’s my adapted version of Melissa’s banana and apple bread bake. To make this yummy dish vegan-friendly, simply swap out the eggs for a chia or flax seed mix, or another egg substitute. To make it gluten-free Melissa suggested quinoa or buckwheat flakes. If you’re allergic to nuts, use only coconut flour if you’re okay with coconuts otherwise you can try it with another flour – perhaps polenta or millet.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 1 apple; 3/4 grated for the bake and 1/4 sliced for decoration
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 25g coconut flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 4 medium eggs (for a vegan alternative, swap for chia seeds or egg substitute)
  • 150g coconut oil
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp allspice seasoning
  • 1tbs brown sugar

Method

(bake using the same instructions as the original recipe)

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4
  • Add all ingredients (apart from the bananas and apple) together in a blender and blitz until smooth
  • Add in banana and apple and blitz further to your desired consistency (with or without lumps)
  • Pour into a lined loaf tin and add the decoration apple slices
  • Bake on the middle shelf for 50mins
  • Do the knife test to ensure the bread bake has thoroughly cooked inside then leave on rack to cool
Enjoy!

There’s so many different ways to recreate this banana bread and that’s the real beauty of it. I’m thinking of adding in chocolate chips or orange rind next time too to spice it up a little bit more! 🙂

Bon Appetit, x

IKEA Greenwich X Melissa Hemsley | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
A cheeky photo with the lovely Melissa Hemsley!
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Apple and Banana bread bake loaf
We were all treated with a signed copy of Melissa’s new cookbook at the Ikea Greenwich workshop

 

Kids & Family Yoga Brunch at The Canvas Cafe: Saturday 14th April 2018

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle Blogger

Family Yogis!

Join me for a lovely 60mins family yoga session
followed by a fantastic vegan brunch to nourish our bodies.
We’ll also have the chance to chat to other parents and catch up with each other.

I run weekly Kids/Family Yoga classes at The Canvas Cafe in Shoreditch but on the 1st Saturday of the month (apart from April) I will be offering Family Yoga and Brunch.

Our family yoga session consists of yoga poses, storytelling, partner poses, dance, songs, games, massages and relaxation/quiet time.

Take a look at the vegan menu below (opens a new window) – brunch cost ÂŁ10 and you’ll need to pay on the day as the money goes straight to the cafe. Brunch is optional so if you just want to come with your family for the free yoga session that’s totally cool too. 🙂

Menu:
CanvasCafe-MonthlyYogaBrunch (PDF)

Please book your free ticket on Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/family-yoga-brunch-at-the-canvas-cafe-tickets-44291663558

See you there!

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle BloggerSaturday 14th April 2018
The Canvas Cafe, 42 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JL
10:30am to 12:30pm
Price: ÂŁ10

Make 2018 Your Year!

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family & Lifestyle

At this time every year, we all set fitness and lifestyle goals, that we are keen to realize. The good intentions in January, can often slip away without the right mental attitude and dedication to what you are trying to achieve. If you have goals you are determined to meet this year, make sure you set an achievable yet challenging plan. Whether it is a home-based session before the school run, or a run through Greenwich Park, make sure you have all the components to make your regimen successful. In addition to exercise, swapping the mince pies for low-carb salads will be essential to kick start your year. Keeping it up past January however, is where the real skill is involved.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle in London
Photo by Laurencia Soesanto on Unsplash

Setting Out Your Fitness Plan For Success
Often in January, we can be left feeling lethargic, unhealthy and flabby. If you fell prey to one to many Proseccos during party season, you should be feeling enough motivation to kick start your fitness goals and get that body back into gear. However, after the initial few weeks, motivation can begin to wane and our plans can begin to falter. When this occurs, there is nothing better than seeking the help of others. Sure, your fitness plan is personal to you and it is up to you to achieve those goals. In difficult times though, the inspiration of others can be imperative to getting the job done in as quick a time as possible. Perhaps that extra push, or motivation can come from a personal trainer in the new year?

Remember the story of The Tortoise and The Hare? Well this is also pertinent to your training goals. Do not let your ambition get the better of you. If you over train early in your new fitness regime, this can have a detrimental effect on your overall aims. There is nothing worse than pushing yourself over the limit and being left recovering on the sofa, when all you want to do is be burning off those stubborn calories. Create a realistic, yet challenging fitness plan and stick to it.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle Blogger The Importance Of Nutrition
When your body is working harder in the gym or on the road, the temptation to over-compensate with food can be high. Although it is important to fuel your body with the correct foods, ensure you are eating the right foods at the right time. Initially after your workout, fill the body with healthy proteins to help build muscle and keep your energy up. The night before a big run, fill up on complex carbs like pasta, so your body has the right energy to keep your plan on track.

To make sure you achieve your fitness goals this year, set a realistic yet challenging plan, seek inspiration and advice when your motivation is low and fuel your body correctly. If you follow these vital steps, you will achieve your goals in next to no time.


A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood

Jamie’s Italian: The buyers guide to olive oil

In a world full of choices especially when it comes to food, you’re basically spoilt with choice. This can sometimes make buying the most simplest of things difficult. 

Olive oil is something that I’ve onlyrecently discovered  funnily enough as I have never previously thought about cooking with it. I always assumed it was used for dressings only. However, when I started looking into it, olive oil has a multitude of uses but you need to first figure out which kind you need.  For example, extra virgin olive oil is best for dressings and dips, not for cooking or baking. 

Jamie’s Italian came up with fun and useful infographic which breaks down the different kinds of olive oils available, the types of tastes and flavours they have and where the majority of the good stuff comes from. 

I mainly use pure olive oil as I mainly use oil for cooking/frying/sautĂ©eing and rarely for anything else. I am yet to purchase extra virgin olive oil for dipping bread and drizzling on salad although I may have to think about doing so as salad dressings can be very calorific whereas a simple dressing made up of olive oil, lemon (or basalmic vinegar) and black pepper is not only tasty, it’s also cheaper, easy to make and healthier. 

Olive oil: thebuyers guide

Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Olive Oil Buyers GuideIf you liked the infographic above, don’t forget to share it! 

Infographic: courtesy of Jamie’s Italian

Review: Fresh curry pastes and sauces delivered straight to your door with Mister Paste

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mister Paste Review

Love a good curry but don’t know how to make your own paste? Or maybe, like me, you just don’t have the time? 

Fear not because help is at hand. I love all these companies that deliver fresh food straight to your door – Hello Fresh, Fresh Fitness Food, and a new fresh curry paste company that I discovered last week called Mister Paste.

A former work colleague told me about Mister Paste (it’s her partner’s business) and she asked if I would like to try out some of their products – of course I said yes! 🙂

1) because I love food and 2) because helping out other small businesses is a good thing

She sent me a link to her partner’s website and I checked out the large range of pastes and sauces available. The site was really easy to navigate around and I was surprised with how cheap the pastes were as they’re made fresh. I chose the portion option for two people as I knew LO and Baby Girl would just be eating from our portion.

So I chose two curry pastes that I am very fond of; Thai Green Curry and Rogan Josh. For me, the balance of spices, sweetness and saltiness has to be on point in order for me to consider the recipe being a fantastic one. I had very high expectations for these curry pastes that I was going to try.

The kits arrived really quickly, around 2 working days, and there was a message on the packaging that said to refrigerate as soon as they’d arrived which I did. I originally wanted to save my Thai Curry for when I bought seafood but we only had chicken breast in the fridge that day so I made a chicken green curry instead. Continue reading “Review: Fresh curry pastes and sauces delivered straight to your door with Mister Paste”

Two simple & healthy recipes for you to enjoy this Pancake Day!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Pancake Day 2017
(left) Oat pancakes with yoghurt and berries, (right) Chocolate protein pancakes with mint ice cream and chocolate drizzle

It’s Shrove Tuesday today aka Pancake Day and what better way to enjoy this day than bake up a fresh batch of pancakes to enjoy with the family… or all by yourself. 🙂

I’ve got TWO amazingly simple recipes for you today; the first one is a chocolate protein pancake one that I’ve dressed with a low-calorie mint choc ice cream and dark chocolate drizzle, and the second is a simple oat pancake with coconut yoghurt and berries. Yum!!

Both of the pancakes came out super fluffy. I added baking powder but I am sure they would still be quite fluffy without it. Out of the two, I think the chocolate protein pancake was the best – I have a sweet tooth so to be able to enjoy something sweet but in a healthy way is a wonderful win-win situation haha!  Continue reading “Two simple & healthy recipes for you to enjoy this Pancake Day!”

Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Prawn Pad Thai Salad Recipe

Since I started my fitness journey last August 2016 I’ve been eating much healthier than before. I’ve cut out a lot of the processed foods I used to eat before and try to consciously opt for complex carbohydrates over simple carbs. The reason for this is because of my high-risk for developing Type II Diabetes later in life. Diabetes runs in my family, both on my maternal and paternal side then to top it off I had Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies.

So yeah… really high risk.

I am human and sometimes I do slip up and have chocolates, cakes and biscuits but try to have a really small portion. After all, eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean eliminating treats 100% out of your diet. Healthy eating is about balance, sustainability and having a positive association with food. Basically if you eat a large slice of pizza (or the whole pizza), don’t put yourself on a massive guilt trip for it and ‘punish yourself’ by eating less the next day or putting your body through hours of cardio trying to ‘burn off’ the added calories. Instead acknowledge that you’ve been able to enjoy yourself that day with that meal and eat a little better the week ahead to balance it out. Remember, one pizza won’t make you fat nor will one salad make you healthy.

I’m currently increasing my calorie intake to build up my muscle size and strength. As my weight loss stalled in December (plateaued at 51.8kg despite me increasing workouts and cutting a few more calories) I decided to reverse diet (where your aim is to gradually add back the cals in an attempt to kickstart your metabolism) which is going well. I’ll be writing up a progress post soon and will be going in more detail about this on there. Look out for it! Continue reading “Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad”

Food Review: Vegetarian lunch at the Ethos Restaurant in London

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review

Okay this post is long and overdue I do apologise but having Ethos on my mind for the past couple of days, I decided I needed to post this instead of leaving it to sit in my drafts folder.

A few months back (Oct/Nov times) I decided to try out this popular vegetarian restaurant with my bestie Coco who turned pescatarian almost a year ago. She hadn’t really ate out at vegetarian or vegan restaurants so I wanted us to try out a new dining experience which didn’t involve me stuffing my face with meat and her watching me. She has said a few times she misses meat and poultry so I wanted us to be on the same page this time. I found out about this trendy little restaurant called Ethos through another friend who’s pescatarian. It had just opened up earlier in 2016 I believe and became really popular for non-meat eaters. There’s loads of vegetarian and more vegan restaurants popping up now which I think is great.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Ethos Foods restaurant / Photo Credit: Best of Interiors
Location, Location

Ethos Foods is located on East Castle street, just a stone throw away from London’s bustling Oxford Street. When you’re at Oxford Circus station, the restaurant is a short 7-10 mins walk away. The restaurant blends in well with its surroundings so you might walk past it without knowing. Nestled between other buildings, the beautiful glass front shows off the natural looking decor inside.

Decor

The decor inside is simple but modern. As I went around October/November times, the restaurant had a wonderful autumnal display. Lots of oranges and browns (colour theme) which looked warm and inviting. I was also very impressed with the shop front. The wide floor-length windows allow you to eat and admire the outside at the same time. I loved the black leather (I’m guessing it’s faux-leather!) booths and marble table tops. I found the birch trees a bit weird at first but grew more and more fond of them whilst at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The warm and inviting autumnal window display
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The seating area – see how navigating a bigger pram could be tricky? / Photo Credit: Londonist
Space

It’s not a massive restaurant – the image above of the shop front is basically the length of the whole place but I think this gives it a friendly and intimate feel. In terms of the space, I can’t really say the place is buggy-friendly. Yes the doors can open up for large or double pushchairs it’s a little difficult to navigate around to the seats with a bigger pram. My advice would be to ask for a seat nearer to the buffet stations and doors. The staff are very attentive so I am sure they would be smart enough to work that out should it ever happen. I was a little apprehensive about the space beforehand (even though I only have a tiny little Mamas & Papas Urbo) I didn’t bring it because I wasn’t sure I would be able to move around the restaurant comfortably with the pram. The seats are positioned quite closely together and when I had to move about with Baby Girl in my baby wrap, I felt a bit cramped and the restaurant wasn’t even busy.

As lovely as the faux-leather booths were, it was a little tricky to sit in as the tables are pushed quite closely to the chairs. The other thing was that you don’t get a booth to yourself – for Ethos to make use of the space, the booths are split into two so they can sit two sets of guests in them. It’s a clever way for utilising space but not the most friendliest for parents with young children… but then again I guess we’re not their main target market. The family-friendly space is the only downfall of Ethos though, everything else if above standards.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The buffet-style food stations / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
View of the seating area / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

Now onto the food…

Food, Glorious Food

The food at Ethos is absolutely amazing. O.M.G! The flavours, the varieties, not to mention the desserts. Oh my. We’re not a vegetarian family so I’ve not been to many though I am choosing to go to more as I really liked them. The first veggie restaurant I went to was Mildred’s in Camden and I had the most amazing halloumi and char-grilled aubergine flatbread burger. From that day onward, I knew I loved the vegetarian dining experience and Ethos Foods didn’t let me down. There was plenty of fresh food to choose from (hot and cold) and the self-service buffet meant I can easily pick a little of everything I fancy.

The food is priced on a pay-by-weight basis which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For me, it meant better portion control and the price per kilo was affordable. I think I paid about ÂŁ12 for my full plate and then I spent a little more on desserts (charged separately, around ÂŁ2-3 per slice.. I chose 2 things) and opted for tap water my whole lunch was around ÂŁ20.00. Okay, ÂŁ20 for lunch is not what I’d spend daily but it’s a good price for an occasional lunch with friends, etc.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
My plate full of delicious food!

I had miso roasted aubergines, halloumi bites, spinach and ricotta cheese balls, green beans, Hungarian goulash, seaweed salad, cous cous, massaged kale salad with kumquats, and a broccoli with carrots cashew cream curry. My favourite was the aubergines, spinach/ricotta balls, the goulash and cashew cream curry. Everything was packed-full with flavour and spices. No-one can ever tell me that vegetarian food is bland and boring! On purpose, I tried to avoid having too much carbs simply because of having Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies it puts me at higher risk of developing it later in life. So for that reason only I am a little cautious but it doesn’t mean I cut out carbs, just limit it to a decent amount. I resisted the sweet potato fries and creamy potato gratin but had a little bit of gnocchi instead. 🙂

Now that autumn is over, I am sure the menu at Ethos would be a little different. I recently checked out their sample menu online and some things are not on there like the spinach and ricotta balls and seaweed salad. However it is a ‘sample menu’ so you could still stumble upon it at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Dessert table (sorry for the blurred image!)

I wasn’t going to get dessert but then I thought why not as who knows when I’ll be back lol … I can’t ever imagine going here with both LO and Baby Girl – not while they’re still young as they’ll probably make so much noise and disturb everyone else’s dining experience haha! I tried to be as good as possible and only picked two things – the peanut butter bomb (an Ethos favourite) and a raspberry and vanilla raw square. The peanut butter bomb was incredibly rich, I shared half of mine with my friend and still thought it was rich. Amazingly delicious though, there was only one left which I picked but if there was more I’m sure I would’ve gone back to buy two more. They taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups but way better!

The raw square was fabulous and just as I would expect for a raw dessert. If you’ve never tried raw desserts before you are seriously missing out. It was so mouth-watering, softly whipped and had a slight coconut taste because I think they used coconut to make the base of the square. Absolutely yum!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

My friend also bought herself a raw raspberry square and a black bean brownie which I tried. It was so tasty but again so rich in taste and texture. One brownie was more than enough for the both of us. I really want to try and make my own black bean brownie and a few other raw desserts but I haven’t got round to doing so yet. I may have to put some time aside next week to do so!

So if you haven’t yet gathered from my raving review, I highly recommend giving Ethos a visit whether you’re a vegetarian/vegan or not. If the food hasn’t won you over at least pop in to give the desserts a try – you won’t be disappointed. It’s not somewhere I would say to eat for a work lunch but great if you’re with a couple of friends and looking for a place with good vegetarian food, a lovely atmosphere in the heart of Central London.

Enjoy & Bon Appétit! 

Here are some other bloggers who’ve also been to Ethos and written about their dining experience:

The London Mother
Fat Gay Vegan
Her Favourite Food
I’m Wandering and Positive


My Fitness Journey: Progress Update #2

It’s now October and has been two months since I started my fitness journey in August. You can check out my one month progress update here – my body fat percentage has improved a lot which I am very happy about. 🙂 My body composition now looks like this:

Starting weight: 56.2kg, Current weight: 54.1kg
Starting BMI: 24.3, Current BMI:23.4
Starting body fat: 30.7%, Current body fat: 26.2%
(August 1st & October 9th values)

Here’s a photo of how my body looks so far:The Greenwich Mummy Blog: My Fitness Journey

Not much has changed from profile view but I can see a little ab definition coming through at the top. The side view shows off more progress – you can really see that the size of the waist has decreased. Woop woop! 🙂 I will upload some full length shots soon.

I am very happy with my results so far. I’ve currently lost just over 2kg and aim to lose just a little more whilst trying to keep as much muscle mass as possible. My goal weight would be my pre-baby weight which was 49kg but I don’t think I will be able to get there without losing muscle mass so if I get down to 52kg and lose more body fat, I would be happy with that. I don’t like to focus much on weight loss as I think fat loss is more important. Muscle weighs more than fat so the more muscle I gain, the more weight I’ll gain too.

What I’ve been up to

I’ve been on a fabulous workout event I came across on Eventbrite called TotalBody Brunch. It was brilliant! The event was hosted by Chiara Pellegrino who is a PT and fitness lifestyle blogger. She’s amazing and her workout really worked up a sweat! Post-workout we were treated to some yummy healthy snacks from Fresh Fitness Food and one of the nutritionists from FFF gave us a nutritional talk which was very useful. I also went to an amazing meditation & sound healing class last week. It was a taster session and all I can say was that it was brilliant! I’ve never meditated properly (only touched on it in yoga and through my Be Calm mindfulness app) so it was lovely to do something like that. We were given a sound bath for 20mins and it involved the lovely Kalie playing a series of sound instruments to create vibrations which resonates through our bodies to ‘heal’ our mind and body. The instruments included a gong, Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, a Native American drum and some other instruments I’d forgotten the name of.

I was fully relaxed and even drifted off somewhere that was in-between being awake and being asleep. It’s very hard to describe but a lovely experience. I felt so relaxed afterwards and actually felt calm and relaxed for the rest of the day. No shouting at the kids for once! Kalie hosts two sessions a week (Wednesdays 10-11am and Thursdays 7-8pm) so if you want to try a meditation/sound healing therapy class in Greenwich I can highly recommend her.

I’ve got a couple more events that I want to go to including The Om Yoga Show and the Glasshouse Yoga which is a popup hot yoga event in… get this, a greenhouse! 🙂

What my week looks like

I’ve been going to the free weights area a little less these past weeks and the reason is because I want to lose a bit more body fat so need to up the cardio. My current workout routine has changed from last month and now looks like this:

  • Monday: Boxfit (and strength training if I have energy)
  • Tuesday: Yoga and Zumba
  • Wednesday: Strength training or rest day
  • Thursday: Total body conditioning
  • Friday: Pilates (and Yoga if I can wake up early enough)
  • Saturday & Sunday – rest day

I do stray from my routine when I have my nephew around or have other things planned. I would usually then skip the classes or strength training for that day. Also if my body is really sore from the day before, I always listen to my body and give it a rest and resume my routine when I’m better. I’ve also been using epsom bath salts on the days I have intense workouts to try and help my muscles relax and repair quicker.

What I’ve been eating

I’ve been good and have stuck to my healthy eating most of the time. I do occasionally treat myself to chocolate and the odd pizza; after all it’s all about balance and finding a sustainable way of eating healthy. 🙂 Last week, for the first time since being pregnant, I had white potatoes (my sister made sausages and mash) and it was absolutely delicious! Oh my! I’d forgotten how much I love white potatoes but they’re not great when it comes to blood glucose levels (they’re high-GI) so I won’t be eating them often but will occasionally introduce them into my meals.

I will continue to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet as it’s working really well for me and it’ll also help me in reducing my risk of getting diabetes later in life. Carbs are very important so I would never, ever cut them out but will cut down and obviously choose more complex carbs over the simple ones – sorry if that sounded all science-y. 🙂

Turkey breast steaks are my staple purchase (I haven’t had red meat in a while) though I just had salmon recently and forgotten how yummy it is and wonder why I don’t buy it more regularly! I love fish and LO seems to enjoy it too so I will be adding it to our weekly shopping list from now. I still take a protein supplement which I take on workout days (pre and post workout) and between meals on non-workout days. I am currently using PhD Diet Whey Salted Caramel and it’s so delicious. I can’t get enough of it.

I still have a little while to go but I’m losing weight and body fat and most importantly feeling healthier and stronger every day. I can’t wait to see where I’m at in six months time. I have a goal weight and goal body fat percentage but won’t be too upset if I don’t reach it as I’m in this for the long haul so any progress is the best progress. #progressnotperfection

My Fitness Journey: One month on…

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I started my journey to a fitter, stronger and leaner me. 🙂 I joined the gym at the end of July and a couple of weeks before that I took up mother and baby pilates. I started off going to the gym for the fitness classes. I was taking up yoga and tried total body conditioning, ballet fit and functional classes and decided functional and yoga were my favourites.

So now my typical week of fitness classes looks like this:

  • Monday – yoga / gym (strength training or light cardio) / functional
  • Tuesday – rest day
  • Wednesday – mum & baby pilates or yoga or functional and gym (strength training or light cardio)
  • Thursday – total body conditioning or rest day if I’m too tired
  • Friday – general pilates
  • Saturday and Sunday – rest

It’s been pretty much trial and error with the classes I choose but I have come up with a fitness class plan for myself now and will be changing this routine pretty soon to incorporate a water workout class. Continue reading “My Fitness Journey: One month on…”

My Holland and Barrett Mini Haul

The Greenwich Mummy | Holland & Barrett Haul
My Holland & Barrett Mini Haul (I forgot to take a photo of the fat burner tablets!)

Okay, so this haul is more of a mini-haul as it only consists of three products I bought from Holland and Barrett a few weeks ago. H&B is my go-to store when I am looking for anything to do with health foods and supplements. I love their nut mixes especially the carob-coated nut mix and the stores always stocks a wide variety of my beloved Nakd food bars. If you’ve never tried one, I suggest you go out and buy one asap because that’s how good they are and they’re healthy for you.

As I have been embarking on my health fitness journey, I bought a few things which I thought would help me along the way… Continue reading “My Holland and Barrett Mini Haul”

Recipe: Curly Kale and Sweet Potato Hash (V)

Photo Credit: Crumb and Colour

So I have had to change my diet completely due to my gestational diabetes. Luckily this time round I am not on any medication but I’ve been giving the diabetes blood sugar testing kit so no cheating! I have to abide by my new diet rules and portion control to prevent baby from becoming too big.

I had a group meeting with the diabetic nurse and dietician last Wednesday and we went over the foods we can and can’t eat. To top it off, I’ve only gained 0.5kg since the start of the pregnancy so it means somewhere along the way I lost a lot of my weight and gained it as baby weight. It’s quite sad because the dietician has now said I need to start putting some more weight on.

It’s almost like a catch 22 as I am scared to gain the weight as I don’t want baby to be too big but because of the little weight gain, I have no choice but to do so.

So I’ve been checking out the GI index of foods and seeing what my best options are. I created this little recipe a while back when I was trying to experiment with curly kale. It’s so simple, super healthy and nutritious, suitable for vegetarians/vegans and has a low GI index – basically a winning recipe! I even made up the name for it… Curly Kale and Sweet Potato Hash 🙂

So without further ado, here is my recipe:

Recipe: Curly kale and sweet potato hash | The Greenwich Mummy


Curly Kale and Sweet Potato Hash Recipe

Time: prep – 5mins, cooking – 30mins
Servings: 2-4 people

Ingredients:

  • A bag of curly kale (washed)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 2tbs Dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbs of cooking oil

Method:

  1. Fill the saucepan with water and boil the sweet potatoes with their skin left on. Boil until softened which took me about 20 mins on a high heat.
  2. Drain the water and place the sweet potatoes to one side to cool down. Once they’ve cooled, peel the skin and throw away then dice them.
  3. Add a little bit of oil (1tbs) to the dry pan and turn the heat to medium/high. Add in the curly kale and stir frequently.
  4. Fry the curly kale for about 3 mins and add in the soy sauce. Adjust to your taste but I usually give it a generous drizzle. Use a light, low-salt soy sauce if you are concerned about the salt content but as we are not adding any extra salt, I like to use dark soy sauce.
  5. When the curly kale has decreased in volume from the cooking, add in the diced sweet potatoes.
  6. Add a splash of water to help create some steam which will also help to cook the kale nicely and cook for another 2-3 mins.
  7. All finished!

Take off the heat and leave to cool. Eat it on its own or serve with rice or cous cous. I like to just eat it by itself to help cut out the carbs and it’s so filling, I don’t mind it without any meat or poultry but if you did want to eat it, I think grilled chicken would go nicely. Enjoy!

Pregnancy: My battle with gestational diabetes

My Pregnancy | The Greenwich Mummy
GDpregnancy
Photo Credit: Google

In 2013 when I was pregnant with LO, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was shocked don’t get me wrong but not overly surprised as there’s history of diabetes on both sides of my family (maternal and paternal).

I did my best to make sure I kept my blood sugar levels within the normal range and had to attend a lot of hospital appointments, take medication, get scanned frequently to ensure baby wasn’t growing too big (the only perk if I can call it that!) and testing my blood with a finger-pricking device everyday… 3-4 times a day. That was not a perk at all.

The GD returns…

When I discovered I was pregnant again, I knew in the back of my mind that the likelihood of GD returning in this pregnancy was high. So naturally, I tried to eat well, watched my intake of carbs and sugars, and controlled my portion intake in a bid to not get that positive result.

However it seems that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t defeat the inevitable. The good thing is that my reading this time was only just over the normal range at 8 (last time it was 12!) – I think the top end of the normal range is 7. I can’t really remember what the number represents but it’s something to do with the level of blood sugar in the body.

I am slightly crest-fallen as I was planning to have a water birth with this pregnancy as I couldn’t the last time and now I know for sure I am definitely not going to be able to opt for it again. It’s something I was really looking forward to and feel a little bit ‘stripped’ of my pregnancy privileges.

Exercise

So this time round I am not going to just sit about like the health professionals recommended the first time round, I will exercise and do as much as I can without hurting myself of course.

I am starting my prenatal pilates class this week and I’m still strength training at home but only on a weekly basis now as I think I trapped a nerve from Saturday when I tried to make a dash for the bus… not good. I stopped swimming but may have to pick it back up and go either once a week or once every two weeks. Swimming is a great form of exercise, especially when pregnant too because the body is weightless in water making it a better option on the body and the joints.

Healthy eating

The Greenwich Mummy |
Healthy eating during a GD pregnancy [Photo Credit: Diabetes UK]

In addition to portion control and carb/sugar management, the other ways of eating healthy is to choose “better” options – better carbs means looking for those complex carbs as to simple carbs. So swapping the white bread for brown or wholemeal bread, eating rice cakes instead of bread sticks and so on. It’s an exhausting process sometimes as when you’re pregnant all you want to do is be able to eat without thinking too much about what is in it, etc… *sighs*

This article by Diabetes.org offers some great advice on eating healthy with GD and I highly recommend other mums who have also been diagnosed with gestational diabetes to take a look.

Not the end of the world…

It really isn’t. Best thing of all is that it usually disappears as soon as baby is born too so not all is lost. You get offered another GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) when you are about 6-8 weeks postpartum so they can check that the GD is definitely gone (usually the case).

One “highlight”, if one can call it that, of having GD is the fact that the docs won’t let baby get too big so you won’t have to worry about delivering a 9lb baby. Babies from mothers diagnosed with GD are usually bigger than babies from mothers without GD because as the mother’s body cannot regulate the blood sugar with insulin, the sugar passes straight through to baby making them increase abnormally in size. For this reason, pregnant women with GD are always given an induction date. You will need to be induced before your induction date if they suspect baby is too big or if there are any other complications.

Luckily for me, LO came early (he was born on the day I was supposed to be induced) and was within normal size at 6lb 2oz so my delivery that time was a good one.

I hope this pregnancy ends smoothly like the last one!

Recipe: Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe: The Greenwich Mummy

I love hot chocolate and have been looking for a way to make it a bit less fatty and healthier so I came up with this recipe. It’s still a work-in-progress so I will return to make some tweaks to it every now and then so it can become my very own signature vegan hot chocolate.

There’s a lot of recipes for this drink online and you can take a look at a few of them here however I wanted to keep mine really simple with only a few ingredients to use. The majority of the ingredients you might already have in your kitcken or pantry. 🙂 I have substituted any sugars for a medjool date which is very sweet itself hence why I’ve only decided to use one in my recipe. Feel free to try out the recipe and chop & change it according to your taste buds. To make this hot choc taste more like caramel-like or have more ‘bulk’ like normal hot chocolates you can add a banana to the mix.

banana + medjool date = caramel –> this is no lie!

I have also added a wonderful ingredient in the drink which is maca powder. There’s plenty of health benefits for it which you can check out online too.

Mummy's Recipe: Vegan Hot Choc
Not a great photo but it tasted AMAZING! 🙂

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe

Time: 5-10 mins approx.
Serving: 1-2

Ingredients:

1 tsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp maca powder
200 ml non-dairy milk of your choice (unsweetened)
1 vanilla pod
1 medjool date (leave at room temp to soften)
10-15ml water

Method:

  1. On a low setting, heat the milk up in a saucepan and add vanilla pod to infuse that lovely sweetness into the milk. To make it more festive, you can add a little touch of mixed-spice seasoning in there too. (I tried this and it was amaze-balls!)
  2. When you start to see the milk just starting to bubble on the side, take it off the heat and leave it to one side. Leave the vanilla pod in there to soak for now.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the medjool date, cacao powder, maca powder and water and blend until the date has disappeared completely.
  4. Pour the mix into a glass or mug and add in the vanilla-infused milk.
  5. Enjoy!

NB You can also substitute the vanilla pod for good-quality vanilla extract. One teaspoon would be enough and just add to the milk.

Here is a wonderful video I found on Youtube by Fablunch making her version of a vegan hot chocolate with vegan whipped cream! 🙂