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How To Survive Christmas Season With No Extra Weight

You’ve been good – drinking water, following the diet, exercising regularly. All is great; the body is changing, looking pretty and healthy. But now Christmas is coming and you wonder…

Do I really need to skip my favorite meals? The ones I’m eating just once a year?

Or should I suggest that this year Christmas is all about salads and juices?

I’m all about healthy food choices and active lifestyle, and I will recommend this to you and your family all the time. And what I tell you now may surprise you…

I do believe that there is absolutely no need to stress about eating over Christmas period.

Why? Because it’s just a few days. Even if you go for a few cheat meals here and there, it won’t make a massive difference to you.

If for most of the year you chose good food combined with physical activity, you will be fine. What you are doing most of the time, your daily habits, daily choices – that’s what matters.

Check out the tips below and enjoy amazing food this Christmas:

1. Do Not Starve Yourself Before Christmas

You decided to eat almost nothing before Christmas to be able to eat it ALL over the festive period, right? Don’t do that; it’s not healthy. You will feel sluggish, hungry and you will want to eat everything that’s on the table, as you deserved it, right? No. Eat as healthy as usual and don’t panic. You will have that favorite treat over the weekend.

2. Do Not Plan to Go on a Diet After Christmas

If you do, you may feel that you need to eat it all now because after holidays you will just sip a veggie juice. So, you may choose rubbish food, consume tons of calories and that is another recipe for a disaster. Even if you have some less healthy choices over Christmas, just come back to your normal routine afterwards and stick to it. Plain and simple.

3. Do Not Prepare Food for The Whole Army

I don’t know about you, but in my family, we always have so much food that we could feed the whole village, easily… So, Christmas is gone, and we are still eating that food afterwards. Prepare only as much as you need to for Christmas and in the amount, you would normally eat. In your standard week, you don’t eat 3-course meals few times a day, right?

4. Enjoyyyy Your Favourite Food, And Yes, Eat That Cake

Come on; you can taste that cake. You don’t need to eat all the food that’s on the table, skip the ones you were always eating only because your grandma wanted you to. However, if you have your favorite Christmas taste, something you most likely eat once or twice a year, have it, enjoy and indulge in it.

5. Drink That Wine If You Want To

Even though alcohol is a drink, not a real food, the number of calories it has is quite astonishing. However, if you really feel like it, yes, you can have that glass of wine or two. Remember to drink plenty of water too. Your head will thank you for the following morning.

6. Do Not Punish Yourself

When Christmas is over, there is no need to punish yourself for all the amazing food you just ate. Your body really wasn’t ruined over the last few days especially when you were mindful of portion sizes. Don’t think about it, go back to your daily healthy habits and carry on as usual. Be good to yourself.

7. Do Not Sit by The Table Day in Day Out

In our culture, it’s quite common to be sitting by the table for the whole party. The food is within arm’s reach, so we are likely to eat more. Change this. Eat that main meal and walk away from the table. Your digestive system will be grateful, trust me.

8. Stop When You Are Full

Eat whatever you feel like eating but stop when you feel full. Eat slowly, take breaks, drink water. Food is there to be enjoyed, not to make you not able to breath.

9. Move as Often as You Can

Move at the party, go for a family walk after dinner. Run in the morning, do some exercises in the evening. You will feel much better with more energy and more room for some other great food the following day.

10. Have Fun with Your Loved Ones

Christmas is time to be with your family, your friends, your loved ones. Very often it’s time when you see people who you haven’t seen for a long time. Spend some quality time with them. Bake cookies, decorate them, sing Christmas carols together. Listen, talk, share your dreams and plans, inspire each other, be there for each other. And have fun – it’s festive celebration for all of you.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone. Merry Christmas.

If you liked this post please share it with others, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

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3 Things Keeping You Stuck When Losing Weight

If you’re like most mums, ba most women…you’ve probably tried many diets over your lifetime. Some worked, some didn’t but if you’re still trying to lose weight, that most likely means that they didn’t give you lasting results. Maybe you even ended up with JoJo effect.

There is no such a thing as ideal diet for everyone as everyone is different. However, there are some basic healthy eating principles that will give you long lasting results.

Let me share with you 3 things that may be keeping you stuck on your weight loss journey:

1. You skip breakfast

I know, you may tell me that you’re not hungry in the morning or that you’re too busy to eat breakfast, I hear you. But let me tell you, if you skip breakfast you won’t lose weight. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Period. Eating breakfast wakes up your body, and your mind and gives you the energy to start a day. It increases your metabolism too !!! If you skip breakfast, you will consume twice as much for lunch. That’s proven.

If you’re not hungry in the morning, check out what you had for dinner last night and what time that dinner was. Most likely heavy meal and late in the evening. That’s a recipe for a disaster. First, your body can’t digest that food properly, second – your body won’t be able to rest as it’s digesting the meal, so you will wake up tired, third – that will slow down your metabolism and increase the chances of weight gain.

You don’t want to do that. Check out your daily eating habit and reverse the cycle. You will see the difference.

For breakfast – eat porridge with fruits or shake with plant milk/yoghurt, avocado, and banana or seed roll with boiled egg and vegetables.

2. You don’t eat regularly

Again, I know you tell me that you can’t eat regularly, you have no time to do so, etc. but again, let me tell you – if you don’t eat regularly you won’t lose weight.

Why? If your body doesn’t get food at certain times, as once it’s every 2 hours, once every 7 hours, it doesn’t trust you and will keep storing food for later (just in case you won’t provide any). When I heard it for the very first time, I could not believe it, but really, that changed my life. If you eat regularly, your body knows that every few hours it will get food and energy, so it can burn what’s coming.

Eating 5 meals a day, every few hours feeds your body, helps to sustain energy level and increases your metabolism.

3. You think carbs won’t make you fat

You’ve probably heard that fat makes you fat. But did you know that carbs can make you fat faster than fat? Aha! Carbs increase glucose (sugar) level in the bloodstream, followed by insulin release to transport that glucose to every cell of the body. Depending on what you eat – this process may last shorter or longer, and it’s measured by GI (glycemic index). Products with high GI (sweets, white flour) makes rapid glucose spike. Your body only needs a certain amount of glucose so that any excess will be converted into fat!

Also – fast glucose increase will lead to fast glucose decrease, affecting you feeling hungry again, eating again and same thing happening repeatedly. The most important aspect of losing weight is to stabilize glucose level and eating products with low GI (veggies, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.). Then glucose is released slower, making you feel full for much longer.

Carbs (low GI) – wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown pasta, veggies, some fruits

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Power Charge Smoothie

This is one of my favourites smoothies. It’s so fresh, creamy and tastes delicious. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and thanks to avocado it provides your body with good fat, protein and fibre as well. The recipe is for a large amount, so if you can’t drink it all at once, you can use the rest for your mid morning snack or share with your partner.

1 stick celery
¼ cucumber
¼ lime
Handful of spinach leaves
4 green apples
½ pineapple
½ avocado

Juice the celery, cucumber, lime, spinach, apples and pineapple. Add ½ avocado and blend together with the juice. If you wish, you can add small handful of ice.

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8 Simple Eating Habits That Help You Lose Weight

Whether you like it or not there is a direct relation between what you eat and what your weight is…

plus how healthy you are. I didn’t make up the rules. Food feeds the body with nutrients crucial for maintaining its basic functions and has an influence on everything from energy level, stamina, concentration, to even sleep and libido. It works in the same way as fuel works for your car – if you don’t focus on the quality of the fuel, it may not work to its full potential and sooner or later you will notice.

You probably know that to lose weight you need to create ‘calorie deficit’ which means either eat less or exercise more or best do both. Start off with making a realistic goal. Don’t think about losing few pounds in a week, as first – it’s not realistic, second – it’s not healthy and third – it won’t last. All great diets won’t give you lasting results, and you will end up with JoJo effect. Moreover, rapid weight loss will slow down your metabolism so that you will be burning fewer calories daily. The best practice is to lose about 0,5-1kg per week.

There is no such a thing as the ideal diet for everyone as everyone is different. However, there are basic healthy eating principles which you need to implement to be able to stay on top of your nutrition.

Let’s check them out:

  1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Eating healthy breakfast wakes up your body, and your mind gives you the energy to start a day and increases your metabolism. If you skip breakfast, you will be hungry and consume twice as much for lunch. That’s proven. People often say that they don’t feel hungry in the morning, that’s why they don’t eat breakfast. So, if that’s the case with you, check out what you had for dinner last night and what time that dinner was. If you don’t feel hungry in the morning, most likely your dinner was too big and eaten too late. That’s a recipe for a disaster. First, your body can’t digest that food properly, second – your body will not be able to rest as it needs to concentrate on digesting the meal, so you will wake up tired, third – that will slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain. So, what I want to say is to check out your daily eating habit and reverse the cycle. You will see the difference.

For breakfast – eat porridge with fruits or shake with plant milk/yoghurt, avocado, and banana or seed roll with boiled egg and vegetables.

  1. Eat less but more often

5 meals per day and do it regularly – between 3-4 hours. Why? If your body doesn’t get food at certain times, as once it’s every 2 hours, once every 7 hours, it doesn’t trust you and will keep storing food for later (just in case you won’t provide any). When I heard it for the very first time, I could not believe it, but really, that changed my life. If you eat regularly, your body knows that every few hours it will get another portion of energy, so the meal may be used and burned out. Eating every few hours feeds your body, helps to sustain energy level and increases your metabolism. Plus you won’t feel hungry.

  1. Control your dinner

Eat protein and vegetables, reduce carbs (they block the overnight process of burning fat). Saying ‘don’t eat after 6pm’ is not a good idea, it all depends on what time you go to bed – if that’s after midnight and your last meal is before 6, you will be starving. It will be better to eat your last meal 3 hours before falling asleep.

  1. Eating protein is crucial in fat reduction diet

Each cell in your body is made of protein. If you don’t provide enough amount of protein, our body starts consuming its own proteins, like muscles. Fewer muscles in your body will affect in the slower metabolism. Moreover – for your body to absorb protein, it needs to be broken down into amino acids first. The human body requires much more energy to break down protein than it requires to break down fat or carbs, so protein digestion burns much more calories.

Sources of protein – fish, seafood, soya, lentils, beans, meat, nuts

  1. Watch out carbs – they will make you fat faster that fat

Carbs consumption increases glucose (sugar) level in the bloodstream and insulin release which the main job is to transport glucose into every single cell of the body. Depending on what you eat – this process may last shorter or longer, and it’s measured by GI (glycemic index). Products with high GI (sweets, white flour) makes rapid glucose spike. Your body only needs a certain amount of glucose so that any excess will be converted into fat. Also – fast glucose increase will lead to fast glucose decrease, affecting you feeling hungry again, eating another portion and going through the vicious cycle. The most important aspect of losing weight is to stabilize glucose level and eating products with low GI (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.). The glucose will be released slowly, and you will feel full for longer.

Carbs (low GI) – wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown pasta, veggies, some fruits

 

  1. Do not quit fat

First – some of the vitamins (A, D, E, K) need fat to be absorbed by the body. Second – fat digestion takes longer, so it keeps you full for longer too. Third – paradoxically – fat is required to burn fat. Go for essential fat acids from fish and plants, reduce animal fat. Avoid trans-fat (sweets, junk food, processed food) as these will make you storing 4 times more fat, especially around your waist area.

Fat (essential) – fish, olive oil, seeds, walnuts, almonds, avocado

  1. Watch out ‘light’ products

Read the labels carefully – reducing fat (in yoghurt for example) often means that it’s loaded with extra carbs (sugar). And as I mentioned before – your body can only use a certain amount of sugar in any moment of time, the excess will be converted into fat and store most likely around your waist area. Plus, often when you see light products you will eat more, thinking that it won’t do you any harm. And that’s far from the truth.

  1. Drink water

If you don’t drink water, you will die. It’s that important. Without food, you can live for a few weeks, without water it will be just a few days. The human body is composed of roughly 70% of water. Every cell, every organ, nearly all systems in your body do not function well without the accurate water intake.

Proper hydration energizes you, improves your mood and state of mind, helps you stay alerted and thinking more clearly. It helps things moving digestion-wise, detoxifies your body, prevents headaches, colds, keeping you healthier. Water also aids weight loss by making you eat less, and feeling full for longer. Sometimes you think you are hungry when really, you are thirsty. Drink a small glass of water 15 min before the meal; you will eat much less.

I can go on and on about the benefits of drinking water, so I’ll write another post just about that.

Start each day with a glass of warm water with lemon and keep drinking at least 2l of water a day.

 

If you liked this post, please share it with other mums, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

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Easter Holiday Eating Survival Guide

We’ve been good – drinking water, following the diet, exercising regularly. All is great; the body is changing, looking pretty and healthy. But now with Easter just around the corner, there is this fear around holiday eating.

Do I really need to skip my favourite meals?

Or can I persuade my family to try all completely new dishes this time with broccoli quinoa salad as the main threat?

Can I have at least a tiny bite of that chocolate egg and feel like a kid again?

Or will that ruin everything I’ve been working on so far?

I’m all about healthy food choices and active lifestyle, and I will recommend this to you and your family all the time.

And what I tell you now may surprise you…

I do believe that there is absolutely no need to stress about eating over Easter holidays.

Why? Because it’s just a few days.

Even if you go for a few cheat meals, it won’t make any difference to you.

If for most of the year (let’s say 80% of your time) you chose good food combined with physical activity, you will be fine. What you are doing most of the time, your daily habits, daily choices – that’s what matters.

With the tips listed below, you have a Green Light from me to enjoy amazing food this Easter:

  1. Do Not Starve Yourself Before Easter

You decided to eat almost nothing before Easter to be able to eat it ALL during Easter, huh? Don’t do that; it’s silly, not healthy and even dangerous. You will feel sluggish, hungry and you will want to eat everything that’s on the Easter table, as you deserved it, right? No. Eat as healthy as usual and don’t panic. You will have that favourite treat over the weekend.

  1. Do Not Plan To Go On a Diet After Easter

If you do, you may feel that you need to eat it all now because after holidays you will just sip a veggie juice. So, you may choose rubbish food, consume tons of calories with zero nutritional value and that is another recipe for a disaster. Even if you have some less healthy choices over Easter, just come back to your normal routine afterwards and stick to it.

  1. Do Not Prepare The Food For The Whole Army

I don’t know about you, but in my family, we always have so much food that we could feed the whole village, easily…I’m not sure where it’s coming from, but it has to be a lot. So the Easter is gone, and we are still eating that food afterwards. There is no need to do that. Prepare only as much as you need to for Easter and in the amount you would normally eat. In your standard week, you don’t eat 3-course meals few times a day, so your consumption doesn’t need to increase for holidays.

  1. Enjoyyyy Your Favourite Food, And Yes, Eat That Chocolate Egg

Come on; you can taste that Easter egg, it’s only once a year. Don’t eat the biggest one and not every day though. You don’t need to eat all the food that’s on the Easter table, skip the ones you were always eating only because your grandma wanted you to. However, if you have your favourite Easter food, something you most likely eat once or twice a year, have it, enjoy and indulge in it.

  1. Drink That Wine If You Want To

Even though alcohol is a drink, not a real food, the amount of calories it has is quite astonishing. However, if you really feel like it, yes, you can have that glass of wine or two. Remember to drink plenty of water too. Your head will thank you for the following morning.

  1. Do Not Punish Yourself

When Easter is over, there is no need to punish yourself for all the amazing food you just ate. Your body really wasn’t ruined over the last few days especially when you were mindful of portion sizes. Don’t think about it, go back to your daily healthy habits and carry on as usual. Be good to yourself.

  1. Do Not Sit By The Table Day In Day Out

In our culture, it’s quite common to be sitting by the table for the whole party. The food is within arm’s reach, so we are likely to eat more. Change this. Eat that main meal and stand up, go to the garden, have a conversation with other family members, play with kids. Your digestive system will be grateful.

  1. Stop When You Are Full

Eat whatever you feel like eating but stop when you feel full. Even if someone else is taking another piece of cake, you don’t need to do that. Eat slowly, take breaks, drink water. Food needs to be enjoyable, not giving you discomfort and inability to walk.

  1. Move As Often As You Can

Move at the party, go for a family walk after dinner. Run in the morning, do some exercises in the evening. You will feel much better with more energy and more room for some other great food the following day.

  1. Have Fun With Your Loved Ones

Easter is time to be with your family, your friends, your loved ones. Very often it’s time when you see people who you haven’t seen for a long time. Spend some quality time with them. Paint eggs together, prepare some decorations with the kids, do eggs hunting in the garden. Listen, talk, share your dreams and plans, inspire each other, be there for each other. And have fun – it’s festive celebration for all of you.

If you liked this post, please share it with others, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

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Red Power Smoothie

This is one of my top smoothies. I love the colour, the texture, the flavour, yummy 🙂

The recipe is for a large amount, so if you can’t drink it all at once, you can use the rest for your mid morning snack or share with your partner.

1 beetroot
1 carrot
2 sticks celery
1 apple
½ pineapple
¼ lemon
1 banana
½ avocado
Hemp protein (optional)

Juice beetroot, carrot, celery, apple, pineapple and lemon. Put banana and avocado into a blender and mix with the juice. Add hemp protein if you wish.