Don’t eat bananas. They will make you fat.

I hope, to save the life of me, that you have clicked on this blog post out of pure intrigue for the ridiculous title. THIS IS NOT TRUE. BANANAS WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT.

I decided to write this as I read an article in a certain magazine all about how bananas are in fact bad for you. They even drew a parallel implying having a banana for breakfast would be worse for you than having a bowl of CocoPops or Special K. SO NOT TRUE.

The article highlighted that bananas are full of sugar. Yes they are, but are sugary cereals not? At least the sugars in bananas are natural!!

What actually gets me the most is a lot of people I’ve come across who have said bizarre things to me like “don’t eat fruit it will make you fat”, are the people who will buy a chocolate bar with their lunch. Do they not see how that is far worse than fruit!?

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Me looking super happy with some bananas.

Anyways, the point of this post isn’t just to point out how wrong the article is but to try to get you all to look at articles about food a bit critically, and not let them get to your head.

The one thing I dislike about articles like this, i

s that they fuel the ‘fear of food’ I have mentioned so much. If I had seen this a few years ago, I would have definitely stopped eating bananas. People are so worried about cla
ims like this, that it can genuinely affect their eating habits. No foods should ever make you feel like you are doing something wrong. So when you read articles like this – Scoff, please Scoff.

And as I constantly remind you all in my posts, everything in moderation is okay. Especially fruit! This is not a treat you should feel badly about.

Okay… so maybe this post was just to point out how wrong the article was. But it’s also to point out how what the post was doing was wrong. If they did in fact have any evidence at all that bananas would be detrimental to someone’s health, they should have laid out all the facts, not just decided to scare lots of impressionable people from eating fruit and help them to develop an unhealthy relationship with food.

In conclusion, the article was wrong, bananas are good for you, and everything in moderation is good for us all. A nutritionist (@nicsnutrition) I heard speak once put it fantastically – when you eat it should be ‘80% good, 20% bad’, and you should never feel bad about that 20%. That 20% should make you feel bloody great.

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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!

The Cake Debate

Do I have cake today? YES. ALWAYS YES. Let me explain…

A few weeks ago I went to my second Fitfluence event and it was great. Not only because I got some great food and good workouts but for another reason this time. We heard from a nutritionist who started by asking “What is a healthy diet?”. A few years ago I would have responded with “Low carb, high protein, low fat and not too much fruit”. SO WRONG.

The question made me realise how much I’d learned and how much happier and healthier I was since I really learned to LOVE food and how to use it to fuel my body in the right way. What was also so refreshing was hearing answers from the crowd like “CARBS!” and “Everything in moderation“, which of course is my main moto. I was in a room with other  young women who actually liked food and weren’t scared of it, didn’t feel guilty when they indulged, and it was great.

I think most of us, girls and boys too, are guilty of having binge sessions and then after feeling pretty crap about ourselves. One of my male friends actually once had 7 quest bars (look them up if you don’t know about them… they are amazing) in one sitting and I know he didn’t feel too great after that. For me this only stopped about a year and a half ago but for a lot of my friends I know it still continues. DON’T LET IT.

Life is too short to worry about having a meal you may not have thought was good for you. Who cares? As long as you look after yourself most the time, is it really worth worrying about that one time you really enjoyed a meal, even if it was chips and some fried fish or a lot of chocolate cake?

In the end of the day, damage isn’t done to your body or your health if you have a lot of cake one day. Fine, if you have lots of cake every day it is probably not the best for you. But every once in a while, eat the cake!

The other day someone asked me if I have cheat days. The answer to this is no. Not that I always eat perfectly, that is not true at all, but I never perceive anything as a ‘cheat meal’ or a ‘cheat day’. It is just an ordinary day when I’m having some food I love and feeling good about it. The thought of it being a cheat is what makes you feel bad about it after.

One day I really fancied oreos. So I had half a packet. Did I feel bad? No, I felt mildly ill from all the sugar but I felt amazing. I could now eat half a packet of oreos and feel good! That for me was more than I could have imagined a few years ago. Back then I probably would have spent the rest of the day sulking and refused to eat enough food the next day. My relationship with food was wrong and I’m so glad I had a switch go off on my brain because now I am so much happier and so much healthier.

Health isn’t about depriving yourself, its about nourishing yourself mentally and physically. Life is too short to worry, complain, and debate cake. The answer is always CAKE.

 

Cinnamon & Pecan Granola

If you follow us on Instagram you will see a lot of our home made granola. Shop bought granola is fully of nasties, often high in both sugar and fat – not what you want to top your yoghurt with. So here is our clean granola recipe. Everyone in the family loves it and everyone you live with will love the smell it makes in the kitchen when its being made!IMG_2471

Ingredients:

  • 150g gluten free whole rolled oats
  • 100g whole pecans (or any other nuts you might fancy!)
  • 50g dried cranberries (golden berries or raisins will do too)
  • 5 tbsp of sweet freedom dark syrup (male syrup or agave will do too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more if you love cinnamon as much as we do!)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Method:

You will need one large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and either a Tefal air fryer or two flat baking trays and an air tight container.

In the Air Fryer:

  • Mix all the ingredients except the dried fruit in a bowl.
  • Put it all into the Tefal Air Fryer. Cook for 7 minutes in the Air Fryer.
  • Then add the dried fruit and if cooking in the air fryer and cook for a further minute.
  • Leave to cool slightly then transfer to a storage container. When completely cool secure the lid and give it all a good shake. It will keep for around a week.

In the Oven:

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Put into two flat baking trays and make sure its compact by pressing together.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius (fan assisted).
  • Leave to cool slightly and then transfer into storage container. When completely cool secure the lid and give it a good shake. It will keep for around a week.

Enjoy! If you do make it let us know by tagging us on instagram @whygowithout.

Why Instagram loves Maca

In the last year, Maca has been making an increasing number of appearances around the internet. But why? What is so great about it? Lots have people have asked me, expecting that I would know but embarrassingly I’ve always had to say I have no clue. So I decided to do some research.IMG_2248

What is this miracle Maca?

Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) is a plant which originates from the high Andes in Peru. The nutritional value of Maca has on average 60-75% carbohydrate, 10-14% protein, 8.5% dietary fire and 2.2% fats. It is rich in so many different nutrients, particularly calcium and potassium. So if you have a diet low in dairy like me, or a vegan diet then it might be good for you to start having some Maca as you may be finding it difficult to consume enough calcium.

But what does it do?

1) Improves sexual Function

Maca helps to balance hormones and acts as an aphrodisiac to help increase your libido. It also works to increase fertility.

2) Boosts Energy

Athletes also have Maca to improve energy levels and boost performance. As well as this it is thought alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. So why not replace your morning coffee with a Maca smoothie?

3) Balances your hormones

If you are more prone to getting migraines, having Maca daily could help alleviate these issues, as frequently an imbalance of hormones is a cause for recurrent headaches. In a similar way, it can help those who suffer from high stress by helping to reduce the effects of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ on the internal organs and mental wellbeing. Studies have also found that Maca may help to lower high blood pressure too.

4) Helps with Healing

Zinc is a key element in Maca which is linked to wound healing, so it will benefit your skin by ridding it of marks from cuts or even blemishes from spots or acne. So why not try adding some Maca to your diet? Zinc is present in many different foods, particularly red meats and seafood so if you do not eat these often it may be a good idea to add some Maca into your diet.

5) Enhances your Immune System

Maca contains natural Vitamin C, as well as zinc, both which are thought to help boost immunity, protecting you from illness and improving your general wellbeing. Even more reason to add it in your morning bowl of porridge or smoothie.

You can find loads of great recipes and ways to get it in your diet. I don’t have any I think are good enough to share yet but as soon as I do, expect a post! Hope this helps explain why the internet has gone so crazy about Maca.

– See more at: https://www.wellbeingnetwork.com/en/post/5-reasons-to-be-maca-mad