Category Archives: Healthy Eating

I’m Challenging Myself…

…and you, maybe?

I’m very proud of myself – after months of feeling stuck in a rut, I did my #CleanNineteen challenge in March. At the end of the 19 days, I felt more like myself than I had in ages, it almost felt like I had reset my attitude to my diet – I needed it!

So, to continue to motivate myself, and others I hope, I set myself another challenge for the month of May. It doesn’t matter what your starting point is, it’s the progress and results you get at the end that matter.

I’ve used the #GetRippedWithAdura on Instagram hashtag because the other one I wanted to use had already been used for something else.

My starting picture is here: http://instagram.com/p/Y5dQl0ADW-/

Goal: More definition in my abs – to see a significant change in my abs/mid-section

How?
1. Doing 2 minutes of plank daily.
2. Doing 2 strength sessions a week
3. Doing Yoga 1-2 times a week.
4. Eating clean
- Processed sugar free and low sugar.
- Completely treat free, especially during the 1st two weeks. And the option to have one treat per week during weeks 3 and 4 (but I plan not to).  By treats, I mean foods with processed sugar (cakes, ice-cream, etc)
- Cutting down carbs, except on workout days. Examples of carbs allowed are: plantain, sweet potatoes, brown beans and quinoa.

If you’re interested in following my progress or you want to join me on this challenge, follow me on Instagram: @Adura_O, where I’ll be posting daily updates on anything from my planks to the meals I eat. If you’re on Pinterest, I’m also posting daily updates —> http://pinterest.com/adura/get-ripped-with-me/

I started yesterday:


Please be aware this will not have the same structured approach and direction as the Get Trimmer Challenge. If you want weekly plans, tips, a forum and regular support, sign up for the next Get Trimmer Challenge HERE (starts on the 17th of June).

Slow Cooker Recipe with Sausages, Sweet Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes and Onions

I can’t get over how cold it is here in THIS COUNTRY! It was 1degC today! ONE! In April!!!Anyway… here’s a quick recipe which I’ll be using on Friday for a nice warming dinner, I can’t wait!

Preparation time is less than 10 minutes and you leave the slow cooker to do the rest of the work. It’s best to leave the lid on the entire time to keep the heat in.

Let me know if you try this and I really hope it’s warm where you are!

‘No Oil’ Stew Recipe

Someone was referred to me for this recipe and although I talk about it a lot, I didn’t have it on this blog! I recorded a video LAST year and still haven’t edited it. *sigh*
So I decided to do this quick recipe card, which I think is the next best thing, if not as good!
This recipe helped me a lot when I initially lost weight in 2002. I’ve made a little change here, extracting the oil from the stock. When I was at university, I didn’t bother with separating stock and fat,.

Being Nigerian, I was used to generously pouring oil into stew and this was the first thing I changed. I remember my friends teasing me about my ‘Weight Watchers Stew’ but over 40 pounds later, I was the one laughing :p

Honestly, I wasn’t aware of the benefits of animal fats/stock back then, I just used stock in my food because it added flavour and helped me eliminate the use of oil.

Why chicken fat? Because animal fats are highly nutritious (and natural!) and essential for many body functions – heart, lungs, bones, etc (Read more here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/01/enjoy-saturated-fats-theyre-good-for-you.aspx). 

Taking off the skin will result in less fatty stock but you’ll still get stock from the bones (marrow) of the chicken which actually contains a lot of the nutrients stated above :)

PS For personal reasons, I’ve been advised to eat less chicken skin NOT because it’s high in fat but because it’s high in omega 6.

I use this recipe a lot and very often, I do it the much easier way:
  • fry the onions in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • And add the chicken stock (with the fat) to the blended tomato mix
Have you tried this? Let me know what you think!

Get Trimmer For The Summer – Sign Up!

After a great run of the challenge, which ended earlier this month, it’s that time again (already!!).

Be prepared to dedicate some time and effort into this to see the results you desire :)

Green Smoothies: I’m Loving ‘Em!

I love green smoothies
I just haven’t been able to get into the habit of having salads which contain, highly nutritious and hydrating, raw, green, leafy vegetables into my daily diet. I have tried, I really have but I prefer my veggies stir fried or steamed, the former being my favourite way of getting those veggies in. Vegetables start to lose their nutrient values once they’ve been picked and heating them further reduces this value.
I finally decided to give green smoothies a try a few months ago, to ensure minimal alteration (in my control) of my veggies before consumption. I’ve enjoyed them from Day 1!

A few things I learned from my first try were:

  • Keep it simple – my favourite everyday green smoothie consists of spinach, cucumber, lemon juice, lemon zest and lime juice.
  • Lemon peel (zest) in addition to the juice makes a great change to an otherwise simple, bland mix of spinach and cucumbers. The taste of the peel almost removes the need for any sweetening eg berries, bananas, apples, etc
  • Lemon and lime juice are a great combination
  • Berries add a nice sweetness to the green smoothies. 
Most of my green smoothies contain spinach (contains flavonoids which have anti-cancer propertiesm rich in antioxidants, Vitamin K, calcium and magnesium), cucumber (contains phytonutrients that give it anti-cancer properties, rich in antioxidants, high water content, Vitamin K, potassium, magnesium), fresh juice from a lemon (read this for the benefits of lemon juice) and lemon peel/zest.

I aim to buy organic spinach and cucumbers. If you can’t, make sure you wash them properly (apple cider vinegar + water rinse and brush the cucumber skin).

I have a jar/cup once a day, in addition to my meals and supplements. Not as a food replacement! Although I’ve had a smoothie some mornings I’ve had not appetite, which is a very rare occurrence ;)

If you’re like me and have to force salads down your throat, try green smoothies :) One very lazy evening, I had 2 homemade turkey burgers and a green smoothie for dinner!

I’ve been putting my very cheap and durable blender through a lot of work and I can hear it falling apart each time I use it.
I’d love to get the Magimix 1.8L Blender which is a bit pricey at over £200 but it looks like it’d be worth it! For now, it’s on my wish list for when I am richer ;)

For now, I’ve added the two blenders below to my ‘immediate’ wish list and I think I’ll get the Villaware soon. They’re both on sale at great discount (I’m still looking through reviews), click on the links for more info :)

1. Duronic BL1200 – Stainless Steel Body Table Blender (1.8L Glass Jug)
    £199.99 £59.99


 2. Villaware BLVLLAZ05H 2 Litre Jug Blender Die Cast Metal
     £79.99 £58.25

Have a great week!

Quick Catchup: Clean Weekend and a New Video

Hope you had a good weekend. I had another sugar free weekend and feel good for it today. I went to help my friend at her Ermioni’s Bake Shop stall in Archway Market and didn’t have anything! Not even  a tiny sample of her scrumptious baking. Funny thing was – it wasn’t difficult, not one bit!

It helped that there was a hog roast stall in that market so I bought a portion of it (on its own) and my friend bought me more later :) The worst thing to do when you’re avoiding sugar is to be hungry around sugar!

On Sunday, I made some plantain chips and had them with an omelette and a banana shake (1 cup of organic farm fresh yogurt and 1 banana). A couple of sunny-side-up eggs with runny yolks would have been perfect to dip the chips into… yummm! Next time ;) I absolutely LOVE plantains, can you tell?

I’m on Day 15 of my personal #CleanNineteen challenge and, honestly, I don’t feel deprived because I’ve been making extra yummy meals and green smoothies <-- all homemade and natural :) Looks like I might just continue past the nineteen days, I'm enjoying it :) I started this week as I plan to continue and finish it – cleansed and refreshed, let’s see how long that lasts!!
Palm Oil Face Mask before my shower and a big glass of leftover homemade green smoothie (from the weekend).

Finally, here’s a video I uploaded on Friday on treating yourself with unhealthy food. I do that a lot and it’s a habit I’m trying to curb. I’ve been doing well these past few weeks by making berry or banana smoothies over the weekend (I have some pictures on my Instagram). And also making extra scrumptious meals, which makes a huge difference.

Watch the video here:

Have a productive week!

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Dinner & A Bug

The title’s ridiculous right?! Read on and it’ll be explained… I think! If not, let’s blame it on me feeling a little under the weather ;)
Anyway I’ve been fighting some kind of bug/flu all day! I’m one for resting completely to recuperate but I had a 7am Fitter London Spin class which I taught off the bike so shouting and standing were the limit of my exertion. 
I listened to a friend’s advice and had a long sleep until 1pm before trying to get some work done including writing up one short recipe and throwing together today’s dinner. Then it was back to bed for a couple more hours.
I also increased my Vitamin C dosage, drank a lot of ginger/lemon tea, green tea and water.

I had an evening class (Fitter London Kettlebells) which was fun to teach as always, with more of standing and shouting at people (ha!).

Hot shower on returning home and served a massive portion for myself fresh & hot from my slow cooker. Yummy and so so warming!

Now it’s time for a LONG sleep.

Quick & Healthy Recipe: Turkey and Kale Stir Fry

I love this recipe because it’s so simple and can be modified in many ways. This was inspired by a turkey mince and green peas meal I put together a few weeks ago, on a Thursday night.If you read my blog posts, you’ll know I find it quite hard to eat a raw salad (no matter how good it is for me). I much prefer making green smoothies or stir fries using highly nutritious green leafy vegetables like spinach, collard/spring greens and kale.

I was at the supermarket last week and saw packs of kale calling my name so I bought one and decided to follow the same steps as the turkey mince/peas stir fry…

INGREDIENTS

- 400g turkey mince

- 200g kale
- 2-3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 onion diced

- 1tbsp coconut oil
- Seasonings

- Salt to taste
1. Heat the coconut oil in a pan. Fry the onions until they start to brown.
2. Add the mince and start to cook in pan. Stirring in pan often to ensure it cooks evenly.
3. Season as desired.
3. After it’s been cooking for 5 minutes, add the tomato puree. Leave to simmer for a coupl eof minutes.
4. Add the (washed) kale, cover, turn down heat to medium and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Enjoy :)

  • Sweet potatoes can be used instead of plantain.
  • Kale can be replaced with spinach, greens, peas, broccoli, etc

Healthy Recipe: Goat Chilli Soup

Happy New Week!

I’m happy to report that The Get Trimmer Challenge has officially started. Unlike previous challenges, it won’t be done on this blog, there’s a separate (private) blog and also a closed Facebook Group.

If you’re still interested make sure you register by Friday 1st February when entry officially closes –> http://gettrimmer3.eventbrite.co.uk

On to the RECIPE
The name is inspired by one of my favourite Nigerian dishes – PEPPERSOUP!

I didn’t have any peppersoup spices at home so I used the next best thing – chilli. Thinking about it now, I could have used  finely chopped scotch bonnet or ground ‘Naija pepper’.

It came out yummy with that little kick that chilli gives.

Ingredients
2 medium red onions
3 red bell peppers
1kg goat meat
Generous servings of mixed spice, mixed herbs (Read –> What’s In My Seasoning)
2 heaped tablespoons of chilli
Salt to taste

1. Slice the onions and peppers

    Chunky slices

2. Clean the goat meat and add to the slow cooker. Add the spices, herbs, chilli and salt and rub into the meat. (I’d have preferred to marinade it for a few hours before cooking).

3. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to a heated frying pan and lightly brown the onions. Use a spatula to move the onion around so it browns evenly. This should take no more than 5 minutes.

4. Add the onions to the meat

5. Repeat the same for the peppers. Again, no more than 5 minutes.

6. Add to the meat and onions.

7. Add enough water to barely cover the contents of the slow cooker. Cover, set on low and leave too cook for 8 hours.

Ready to slow cook for 8 hours
It didn’t look this grubby!!

8. If you’re like me, wake up to the aroma of scrumptious goat meat cooked with sweet red peppers and onions. Of course, the seasoning played a huge part ;)

Enjoy!

PS If you don’t own a slow cooker, cook this on low heat and check the tenderness of the meat every 30 minutes.

Braids and Food

What a clever title, right? I’ve had my braids hang into my food and that wasn’t nice :/
I just couldn’t think of an interesting title so this is going to have to do!

Anyway….. This is just a quick update on my hair (which is now in braids, as seen below) and food, I’m sure you had no idea!! :p

I got my braids done on Monday and after an early start (the lady rang my doorbell at 6am!), enduring a numb backside and trying to stay awake, she was done before 2pm :)

If you’re wondering how I take care of my hair while it’s in braids, watch the video below. Which reminds me, I need to make another bottle of my braid spray:

As usual, I’ll keep the braids in for no more than 3 months.

I’m so happy it’s Friday because I get done with work early so I get to relax and cook :) I bought some lambs’ livers on Thursday night with the intention of making okra soup today. Well, I got home today and realised I forgot to get some!
There was no way I was going back out in the freezing cold for nonsense okra!
So I had to improvise and just pan fried the livers with red onions (seasoned with salt, paprika and mixed herbs) for about 10-12 minutes and added some spinach to cook with it for a few more minutes.
It doesn’t look great but it tasted very good (I cooked it so of course it did!) and has many nutritional benefits :)

LUNCH

And then my dinner was YUMMY :) I recently purchased a slow cooker and I have tried out three meals in it so far. I think I got it a week and a half ago!

This was a simple stew: venison sausages, sweet potatoes (the Jamaican ones here, very similar to the ones in Nigeria), red onions and chopped tomatoes. I pan fried the sausages and onions for a couple of minutes before adding to the slow cooker and left everything to cook for a few hours.
And I finally bought courgettes (zucchinis) for the first time ever! Thanks to some tips from Ceri (of Cucina Ceri), I didn’t add it to the stew, I sliced into large chunks, season with chilli, drizzled some olive oil on it and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.

The clean plate in the picture shows exactly how I felt about it ;)

So that’s my Friday update done, I’m just finishing up some documents to send out for the Get Trimmer challenge now and then BED :) #TGIF

You can still sign up for the challenge by clicking on the image below:

FYI: In Naira, it’s N5,000 if you prefer to do that. Just send me an email asking for a/c details. Once the Early Bird offer runs out, it will go up to £26.99 or N6,750. This will be available until Friday 1st February, when registration will be officially closed.