@katscapades tells us to forget the Yo-Yo diet and embrace the #monacodiet #beauty #health

Once again, our health, fitness (and travel) guru Katrina Santos-Baron (www.katscapades.net) shows us how to live healthier…and maybe lose a few pounds in the process! So have a good old read, take the points on board, give it a whirl and let us know what you think!! 

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One fitness quote said, ‘it takes 4 weeks for you to notice, 8 weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world’.  I started a Weight Loss Challenge last March but had a major relapse when I had friends come to stay for two weeks! (oops!) I almost gained what I just lost, so I discovered the importance of juicing and decided to do an Alpha-reset (5-day juicing detox) to get back into shape. Juicing has been a habit since then. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of things, and discovered my passion for running. So taaaaaaaaadaaaaaaaaaa, I’ve lost over 5.6 kilos and just above 10cm (3.9 inches) around my waist. Yaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooooooo!

I’m so loving a healthy lifestyle. For me, it’s not just a fad or an excuse to sometimes splurge in the organic section of the supermarket. It’s way beyond counting calorie intakes or trying to join the ‘green’ club. It’s giving utmost value to ourselves, like valuing something that you’d been meaning to have and finally got it (just like when I received my first Chanel bag – it was treated like a V.I.P.!). Taking care of our body is a must, it’s the only one we have!

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I was never really a fan of crash diets. I was too skinny before anyways. In fact, I used to eat a lot! Like 3 cups of rice and meat plus a lot of sweets on one sitting three to four times a day! However, as they say, our bodies start to change as we reach the age of 25. Though I believed I had a healthier lifestyle since I moved to London (except for the cake moments with my best friend – which occurred on most days of my London life, ooops), I kinda felt this body-changing-after-25 particularly when I got married two years later. The joys of cooking and discovering amazing eating places, plus the ‘dining bond’ with my hubby (with no exercise) during the first 8 months of our marriage resulted to unpleasant muffin tops! And there I was, tempted to try different crash diets but I thought best not to. Motivated to lose weight eventually paved the way for me to really get hooked into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I recently had some dietary advice from a Monaco-based nutritionist  that really helped me on my fitness journey. I admit that I’m not 100% following it (I’m still human by the way), but it’s good to have it at the back of my head which acts like a little voice whenever I’m about to cook, do my grocery shopping and as I put my trainers on. I shared it with some of my friends and they’re happy with the results. This may not be new to you – I’ve known some of the items he shared before I met him but it didn’t just remind me, it also made me more aware about the importance of what we eat and do to how it affects our body

  • THE GOLDEN RULES OF NUTRITION
  • Do not ever starve yourself. When you starve, your metabolism slows down. You might be losing weight but gaining more afterwards, also known as the yo-yo effect. Like what C. Helgoe said, ‘if weight loss is your only motivation, and you jump into the latest fast being used by Hollywood stars getting ready for Oscar gowns, your program is likely to backfire’. Remember, your diet should be eating more of the right foods at the right time.
  • Eliminate flour, gluten and junk in your meals. I know this is super hard, eh?!
  • NO to dairy products – milk and cheese, huhuhuhu…. Goat’s cheese is ok (it’s not from the cow :p)
  • Here’re the good news – carbs are ok! YES! But only until 2pm.
  • Eat fruits only in the morning as most fruits have high sugar content.
  • Salt = Cellulites. Yikes!
  • NO to GMO too – choose organic.
  • Drink protein shakes for breakfast (could be mixed with fruits) and drink another one in the evening (without the fruits)
  • Fats will only be burned after 40 mins of cardio since the first 40 mins are only for sugar-burning
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep for cells to regenerate properly (natural anti-aging)
  • [Goes without saying] Drink loads of water
  • Don’t forget the veggies!

LET THE MONACO DIET BEGIN:

So here’s how my daily diet and activity looks like:

  • Between 6:30 to 7:00am: It’s cooking time! So meanwhile, I’m drinking Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake. I like it how it is so I only add water. Maybe one day I’ll try making smoothies with it.
  • About 7ish: My hubby and I normally have eggs for breakfast. Eggs are packed with protein and healthy fats – good for muscle growth and burning body fats partnered with superfood – avocado and spinach served with green juice on the side.

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Once in every 2 weeks, I make tapsilog (a Filipino dish composed of beef, eggs and fried rice but I cook it a non-stick frying pan – so no oil or sometimes a tiny bit of organic olive oil). Oh, try frying tomatoes with olive oil and basil – they go well with the eggs too!

  • Between 8am to 11am: I have some fruits on my working desk.
  • Around 12ish: I’m happy with a salad especially during the heatwave in the Riviera. Have you seen my crispy lettuce with strawberry salad dressing? If not, please click here. Sometimes I eat rice or whole wheat pasta with protein and fiber (so that’s meat and veggies). I also try adding some twists to the traditional dishes such as including spinach to spag bol sauce for instance served over gluten-free pasta or zoodles (zucchini-made-like-noodles). Who says healthy food is boring and tasteless?! I disagree! 🙂

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  • When my hubby gets home at 5pm: We have an early supper mostly composed of protein and fiber (I also cook with carbs for his packed lunch the next day but I try not to eat carbs during this time, til 2pm, remember?!). Sometimes I make another glass of fresh juice.
  • Between 7pm to 8pm: Trainers on, off we go running. Since it’s been too hot lately to run by the beach, I’ve been running lately at the treadmill (3 – 4 times a week). If we get hungry after the run, we just boil 2-3 eggs each eating only the white. Bye, bye yolk!
  • 9pm: Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake
  • 10ish to 11ish: Bed time!

Cheat day once a week is OK but if you sweat your ass off the gym and become aware of what’s good for the body and not, you’ll still resort to eating more of the right food and feel [a bit] guilty if not, therefore limiting unhealthy intake (if I used to eat up to 6 cupcakes at one sitting, now, 1 cupcake is enough during my cheat day).

When trying to lose weight, it is also important to think of these:

  • Why are you doing it. It’s an awesome feeling being able to fit into the clothes you want to wear, waking up with a flatter tummy, notice your skin looks younger and glowing everyday without putting on cosmetics, being able to run faster and be more mentally alert during working hours. As for me, I DON’T WANT TO BE SKINNY, I WANT TO BE FIT. I’d like to prepare my body as healthy as possible – who knows, we’ll have a baby soon? 🙂
  • Keep a diary of your progress. I did 🙂 It didn’t happen overnight, didn’t happen over a period of 10 days as well. It took me months and learned a lot along the way (and still learning!). Aside from my messy notebook, I also documented my progress @katscapades in Instagram and thru my previous blogs:
  • Do the alternatives. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the grocery instead of taking the car or bus, go for a fresh morning walk instead of snooze-snooze-go-away bed mood. Just be active. Move a lot. Y’know what I mean 🙂
  • Read the labels. Geesh, I really do spend time reading labels (in French) at the supermarket!
  • Be fun and creative! Sooner or later, you’ll discover that healthy chef within you.
  • Nobody’s perfect. You may feel you’re behind your regime but don’t panic – slow progress is better than no progress at all.
  • Connect with like-minded people. Share and start inspiring others too – it’ll make you feel like a million-euro-monaco-baby!
  • Take the holistic route. Have a balanced diet, regular exercise, fill your life with laughter and love. La vie est belle!

Cheers to a healthier us! xoxo

P.S. I just called it the ‘Monaco diet’ since the nutritionist is based there. Results on individuals may vary, consult your doctor first. But overall, I recommend a healthy lifestyle 🙂

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Willy Wonka eat your heart out…we’re growing Chocolate Flowers!! @prezzybox #gift

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Calling all you chocoholics… now tasting chocolate is just one thing, but smelling chocolate (everywhere) takes it to a whole new level…

With this in mind, those clever people at Prezzybox have made us aware of a cunning little gift which is bound to inspire you a) to eat more chocolate and b) to take up gardening!

Introducing the  GROW YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE FLOWERS kit! What a cool (if not slightly bizarre) gift this would make! So if you know any budding Willy Wonkas, or if you just want to celebrate the fact that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is hitting the West End, then this is the perfect opportunity to get yourself growing some amazing chocolate flowers! Yes, you will impress your friends…you will!!!

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This kit includes everything you need to cultivate a daisy patch that gets Umpa Lumpa’s going gaga! Just follow the instructions on the packet and watch your flowers blossom into chocolate scented blooms – money might not grow on trees, but chocolate does!

The Grow Your Own Chocolate Scented Flowers Kit is just £9.95 from: www.prezzybox.com

What do you get in the box?

·         Beautiful flowers with chocolate aroma

·         Full instructions provided

·         Full equipment suitable for any beginner; including 2 x Packets of Chocolate Daisy Seeds, 4 x Coconut Husk Starter Pots,4 x Coconut Husk Compost Discs which expand when watered and 4 x Wooden Plant Marker.

Good work Snoochers!

Milkshaken not stirred? @Prezzybox and @zokuHQ goes all Bond! #kitchen #gadget #food

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We might be preparing for yet another heatwave, but you can cool down in style as Prezzybox shows us how! So put away the Martini’s and get out the milk as we prepare for The Zoku Slushy and Milkshake Maker!!!

If Bond made a smoothie he would definitely use Zoku’s Slushy and Milkshake Maker. Sharp, smooth and always on the money, you are only seven minutes away from your perfect iced drink with this sleek, purple device. Freeze the core and then stir in your favourite tipple for the perfect crunch in a heat-wave.

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Features:

·       Durable, easily cleaned purple outer sleeve that insulates the frozen core and keeps the outer layer at a level temperature.

·       Long, trendy spoon designed for optimal manoeuvrability and grip

·       Huge 9 Ounce capacity

·        Recipe ideas and instructions included.

 Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 08.29.53The Zoku Slushy and Milkshake Maker won’t shake your wallet either, selling for just £19.95 at www.prezzybox.com

Have more fun in your kitchen this Summer… go on, you deserve it!!!

 

Eat What You Love And Love What You Eat… #food #health #wellbeing #lifestyle

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We all like to treat ourselves to those naughty chocolates, or occasional portion of junk food…however the implications that follow can really be quite damning! Can we have both and have a guilt free conscience? Jo Talbot, Content Editor at http://www.prezzybox.com (@prezzybox) looks a little deeper into the situation for us…

With obesity and its related diseases continuously increasing, we’re forever being told to eat good foods, and judged for craving the bad – no wonder why our brains are pre-disposed to feelings of guilt whilst gorging on that chocolate bar…. But why should we have to live like this? There’s no doubt that our bodies need the right vitamins and minerals, but that isn’t to say we can’t indulge on our favourite treats without hindering our health. Want to know a secret? WE CAN HAVE BOTH! You just need to know how to control your relationship with food – it really is that simple.

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By control I don’t mean obsessing over when you can treat yourself. By control I don’t mean logging your foods, counting calories and feeling a twinge of guilt when you fancy a good old British fish and chip dinner. Everybody views food in different ways – whether you’re overweight and on a diet, going to the gym, body building or none of the above, there is a unique way that each and every one of you will view a plate of the same food and by controlling your relationship, you need to let go of it all. That’s sounds like a contradiction, but there’s some interesting science behind it that you may not already know.

Each of the different people I have mentioned above can eat the same food, yet digest it in totally different ways. There is a reason for this – our thought process. Much like the opposite with smiling and laughter, our body cannot distinguish between a genuine stressful situation or an imagined one – each stressor, whether it be guilt, or body shame, will inhibit the function of your digestive system along with other bodily functions – don’t forget, your brain and your thought process is extremely powerful in your health and well-being.  There is something that scientists and psychologists call the biopsychosocial model, introducing the notion that all 3 of the biological, psychological and social aspects of your life are interdependent, thus one will affect the other 2 in every single way. Take for example you’re eating a “bad” food. You’re signalling to your brain that you shouldn’t be eating it (psychological input). This consequently adapts the biological mechanism in such a way that it won’tdigest the food completely, as you’re telling your body with your thoughts that it shouldn’t be there. What does this result in?? The guilt will cause increased levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) leading to store more of the un-metabolised food as body fat. Please note, this happens when we eat a healthy meal too – if you’re unhappy, you will inhibit digestion.

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So how can we increase feelings of happiness? As noted above, your brain is incapable of distinguishing between a fake or genuine smile. Take a pencil and hold it in between your teeth without it touching your lips. Do it for as long as you like, and before you know it, you’ll feel 10 times better. Alongside this, learn to love what you eat! Refrain from worrying about things not worth worrying about, enjoy your food and smile more. Happy eaters are happy people, so go and eat all the ice-cream you want. Just make sure you enjoy every second of it.

Jo Talbot

Undergraduate Psychology and Mental Health Student – The Open University.

Sources

Institute for the Psychology of Eating by Marc David

59 Seconds by Professor Richard Wiseman

Always running on a late lunch? Then treat yourself to a Tuna Steak via @katscapades

Even though breakfast is the most important meal of the day (what…you didn’t know that?!) Many of you are making your excuses that you’re too busy for lunch also (so like, when do you actually eat?!) So we turned to our health guru Katrina Santos-Baron to see if she could advise on something healthy and delicious that is worth stopping work for! And here we are…!

You can read more of Katrina’s posts on www.katscapades.net and follow her on Twitter @katscapades

Hi Snoochers! Here’s a quick recipe post. I don’t know what to call this dish (maybe Sesame Seared Tuna with Grilled Garlic-flavoured Aubgergine) but since I’d been having sushi for the past two nights, it kinda inspired me to make a tuna dish and it turned out like this:

Sesame Seared Tuna

I can’t get enough of eating fish lately. Let me share this quick and easy recipe:

  • Marinate the tuna steak with 2 tsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp of toasted sesame oil, juice from 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove chopped, 1 green chilli chopped, 1″ ginger chopped and pinch of pepper. Put it in an airtight container and leave it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. I was suppose to cook this last night but we went to a sushi bar so mine was marinated overnight.
  • Take the marinated tuna from the fridge 10 minutes before cooking so it gets to room temperature. Season it with sesame seeds.
  • Pan-fry it using olive oil for 30 seconds each side  to leave the middle a bit pinkish/raw (make sure you use good quality tuna). Set it aside with the plain rice.
  • In the meantime, grill 1 aubergine cut into slices and sprinkled with garlic powder. Oh, don’t forget to drizzle some olive oil. I think I grilled it for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, place it with the tuna and rice.
  • Put the leftover marinade sauce into the pan for under 2 minutes (make sure it’s just the sauce and no bits of garlic, chilli or ginger)
  • Pour it over the fish, aubergines and rice. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve hot.

This dish is so yummy and filling. I am confident that I can do 5km run later tonight 🙂

And all you busy workers can make it for your packed lunch too!

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Happy healthy eating!

Kx