Spicy cannelini beans

Here is the recipe I promised you all for my spicy cannelini beans, a nice twist on the classic baked beans on toast, and still cheap! It is really easy and quick and goes great with some eggs in the morning.

This recipe is for two servings, and it keeps in the fridge well for a few days.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin drained cannellini beans (240g)
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 250g passata
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  • Place the olive oil in a frying pan and add the chopped garlic, fry for 1-2 mins on a medium heat
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and cannellini beans, fry for another 5 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened
  • Add the passata, the amount I’ve given is just a guideline as I know some people may prefer their beans with more or less liquid than others!
  • Stir all the ingredients together for a further minute and then add salt and pepper to your liking
  • Pop it on some toast and enjoy!

 

Thank you for reading and I hope you like it! If you make it I would love to see so please tag me @whygowithout or use #whygowithout on your instagram post 🙂

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Banana Protein Pancakes

It’s pancake day so… I thought I would share with you the recipe for my most recent pancake stack. It isn’t 100% perfect but it did make some pretty delicious pancakes.

 

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Ingredients:

For the pancakes…

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1  banana
  • 50g buckwheat flour (or any other flour will do!)
  • 15g My protein soya chocolate protein isolate
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100ml almond milk

For the toppings…

  • Sprinkling of coconut
  • A small handful of cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana sliced (freeze the other half for a smoothie another time)
  • Sweet freedom choc shot

Method:

  • Simply blend all the pancake ingredients together (or use a mixer if you don’t have a blender handy).
  • To get the circle shape I used two pans, one small circle one and another to flip them onto.
  • Make sure both pans are very hot before you start cooking and that the oil is evenly coated. Once you begin, turn down the heat.
  • When the pancake mix becomes noticeably more firm on the side facing you, give it a go and flip ’em!
  • Can’t give too much direction here as it really does come with practice and timings all depend on how thick you like your pancakes so… good luck! (P.s. the first pancake is always the worst)

Enjoy a delicious pancake day!! If you make these pancakes please do let me know by tagging me @whygowithout and using #whygowithout so I can find it 🙂

For another protein pancake recipe click here!

New Years Resolutions & why not to keep them (all of the time)

Happy new year! This time of year is always an interesting one. People take the time to reflect on their habits of the year just gone and try to figure out what they want to change to make the coming year even better than the last.

One of the most common resolutions is to “get fit”, or “eat clean”. This is one of the trickiest there is. A lot of people who will choose for this to be their main goal for the new year, will try to do it in almost an impossible way. They will completely stop themselves from eating anything ‘unhealthy’, i.e. depriving themselves of a lot of their favourite foods. Or they will set themselves hugely difficult goals like exercising 6 days a week. This is unrealistic and will leave you feeling crappy, unless you have unbelievable willpower and unlimited free time.

The deprivation isn’t the bad part, stopping yourself from eating chocolate, junk food etc. is in the end, a good thing. What is bad is the guilt that comes when you have a slip up. Most likely there will be a slip up as habits don’t change over night. If it does occur, not only will there be guilt, but a lot of people will feel useless and like they will never be able to do it. A lot of people will then give up and feel there is no point trying again. The key is balance which may take a while to find, but is definitely worth the struggle.

Stopping yourself from over-indulging will definitely help your journey to being healthy easier in the long run. In the end, not having chocolate/chips/cake/etc. stops the cravings. However, my point is that if you do find yourself having that muffin or croissant, don’t feel bad about it. Enjoy it and then be even more motivated to be healthy the rest of the week.

Don’t let your new years resolutions be hard to keep. Ease them in. Instead of “get fit”, why not try to start by trying to walk more, going to the gym once a week, then twice a week, then three times and see what routine will work for you. Not only what will help you achieve your resolution, but that will leave you feeling happier and healthier inside and out.

My new years resolution was to read more and watch more documentaries. It is safe to say that it is now 11 days into January and I have yet to do any of this. However, when I finish binge watching all of Gilmore Girls it will be the first thing that I do (…probably). Do I feel guilty that I haven’t done this yet? No, because it is ONLY 11 days into January. I have the whole year to achieve this!

You won’t see big changes in your habits, appearance or anything overnight. New years resolutions take the whole year. Give them the whole year to take shape and enjoy every minute of it! And don’t forget balance is key. Work out during the week, and allow yourself a break and a burger.. and maybe even some chips. In my case, I will be watching Gilmore Girls until I feel like a documentary, or picking up a book…

In the end, the most important thing is your happiness. If your new years resolutions aren’t leaving you happy, rethink your habits and see if there is another way to reach your goals while still allowing  yourself to have a fun, happy year.

How to avoid the Freshers 15

For those of you who don’t know what the ‘Freshers 15’ is, it’s the weight supposedly most people gain (15 pounds) when they first go to university. I can vouch that this is a thing that does happen. I gained 12 pounds in my first term of university, felt awful, developed IBS, binge ate and binge drank thinking I was invincible and that my metabolism was so fast that I would never gain weight. Sadly, I was incorrect.

But with the weight gain came a loss of confidence and embarrassment so I am writing a few things I wish I had been told before I started at catered halls, to help me avoid this.

CocoPops at breakfast will not keep you full and is not nutritious in any way. 

Every day in halls I would help myself to two big portions of CocoPops, thinking nothing of it. Really, I was hungry an hour and half later and did not give my body any nutrition when I woke up, which is very important. It’s best to avoid the cereals, stick to bread and nut spread or eggs, bread and veg. The sugar will not help you focus in lectures and cereal disguises eating a large number of calories (unhealthy ones) in a small portion.

Avoid fruit juices, hot chocolates and mochas (in excess).

One of my biggest errors was mimicking all the boys in my halls and having about 2 hot chocolates at dinner after a desert and huge meal, along with 3 glasses of apple juice or more. Opting for water will help keep the calories under control and stop you from eating excess sugar. Especially when you will probably go on to drink later that night filling your body with even more sugar. Avoid it where you can so you can enjoy yourself elsewhere! I’ve always preferred eating my calories to drinking them anyway!

Drink squash as a mixer.

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*Disclaimer* actually water in that bottle… this is before my disco pants no longer fit me in first year. They didn’t last too long haha…

It is best to avoid cokes, lemonades etc. as mixers. Even if they are the light versions, fizzy drinks slow your metabolism and seeming as first year life will consist of alcohol nearly every night of the week, best to help yourself out by having squash and water as a mixer. It will also help to hydrate you as you drink, making those hangovers a little better and the ability to go to lectures in the morning ever so slightly improved.

Try to avoid drunk food as much as possible.

Luckily I managed to overcome this feat eventually, but it took me a while and I would still have some every now and again. I’ve always found I feel so much better when I don’t buy drunk food after a night out and honestly the next day you also feel so good about being able to restrain yourself. Having said that sometimes you might just need nuggets or a Taka Taka, and that is perfectly okay. However, as you go out so much in first year, the temptation is there nearly every day, so best to try avoid it as much as possible.

NEVER FEEL GUILTY.

The worst thing about gaining the weight for me and what facilitated it was the guilt I felt. I would eat a dessert nearly every night, eat huge portions, always have more if I could, and afterwards I would feel horrible about myself. Go out feeling bloated and unattractive. That was by far the worst part. You are allowed to indulge, just make sure that when you don’t have your parents there helping you to control the indulgence, that you don’t let it go too far. But, if it does,
just think to yourself, it doesn’t matter and you’ll be better tomorrow. That is the most important thing. Going to Uni is hard, it will take time to learn how to take care of yourself, just make sure you enjoy your time and it will all work out great!

The most important thing to take away: You will probably gain weight. There is a huge change in lifestyle that will shock your body (for most). But, if you do, it’s totally normal and will be easy to lose. Don’t stress, enjoy yourself and get drunk and have fun.

And you WILL have fun and probably not listen to any of this. Then you’ll have a list you’ll want to make to tell people when it’s all over for you. GOOD LUCK!

5 reasons to eat Blackberries

12491750_888270167938697_3702526392494132230_oAt the end of last year I tried blackberries for the very first time and I was in LOVE. They literally taste like sweets to me and made a nice change to all the other berries I ate more regularly. After my discovery I  did some research to see if they were as good for me as I’d heard people say they were in the past, and they are! So here are 5 reasons why you should start eating blackberries:

  1. They contain high levels of  insoluble and soluble fibre. 100g of blackberries contains 14% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fibre – this is a lot! It is critical for your health to have high levels of fibre every day as insoluble fibre will help keep your digestive track clear and regulate your bowels and soluble fibre can help to keep a good balance of bacteria in your gut.
  2. Blackberries are full of antioxidants. As silly as it might sound, having a diet high in antioxidants may actually help you to avoid bad hangovers – so before a night out, why not have 100g of blackberries and you might actually be able to get out and about the next day.
  3. They enhance your memory. A study conducted in 2009 found that rats who ate blackberries had improved memory and motor function, so best to stock up on them during exam time.
  4. Immunity boosting. Especially at the moment, with snow appearing around the country, it is getting harder and harder to ward off everyones germs. Blackberries are full of essential vitamins and minerals, particular Vitamin C (100g contains 35% of your RDA). Vitamin C, although it cannot prevent you from developing a cold, it has been shown to reduce the duration of one when you get sick. So you can make sure you reach your goal for a daily dose of Vitamin C by eating lots of blackberries.
  5. Good for weight loss. A lot of people worry about eating fruit when they are trying to lose weight because they are high in sugar (although as long as your not eating ridiculous amounts, this is fine because natural sugars are processed with greater ease by the body!). Blackberries are a low calorie, low sugar fruit – so if you are trying to watch your sugar intake and calorie intake, these are the perfect fruit to snack on.

All in all, blackberries are delicious and why not eat a fruit that is delicious and also offers you a range of health benefits!

 

 

 

New Years Resolutions

So it’s that time of year again where lots of people have already started to give up on goals and aims they have set themselves on the 31st of January which will make the new year, ‘better’ and ‘more successful’ than the previous. It is very difficult to keep the motivation you felt oh-so-strongly on that optimistic evening when you wrote them down, told your friends and family, and assured yourself that this year would be different.

Over the last year I have learnt so much more about fitness and health and general life hacks that help me keep motivation and more importantly, keep me happy. My number one tip to all of you who think you won’t be able to keep up with your resolutions is this: A slip up doesn’t mean you’ve lost.

At Uni, I always get people asking me the following questions: Where do you find the time to go to the gym? Do you always cook and eat like that? Where do you get the motivation from? The truth is my food isn’t always pretty, and some days I really don’t want to go the gym, so I don’t. The last year has taught me to do what makes me happy, and not to dwell on the things that don’t. Some days I won’t have the perfect diet, but this doesn’t mean that tomorrow I won’t, and the next day. In order to achieve your resolutions, whether it is reading more (one of mine) or trying to get healthy, you can’t take one bad day as a failure.

Looking at your goals as long-term achievements is far better for your mental wellbeing and day-to-day mentality. Because in reality, big changes won’t happen over a year. It will take  years of practice to allow me to always make sure I focus on the things that make me happy, and this last year has been a vital to me achieving this. Just because I may not always make the right decision now, doesn’t mean I won’t in the future. So even though you might feel like there is no point in you staying vegetarian/vegan, or going to the gym more, or reading more, or keeping up with politics, or walking the dog more, cooking more, cleaning more, buying fewer clothes, listening to more music, spending more time with family and friends etc, just because the last few weeks haven’t been successful, just sit down and think to yourself – What will make me happy today? And do it. Showing yourself you can stick to your goals makes you feel amazing I can guarantee you, but if one of these goals doesn’t contribute to your happiness is it really worth it?

So all in all – Let’s make 2016 the happiest year yet.