10 minute GUACAMOLE recipe

Here's my favourite guacamole recipe for you to try out - it's simple, super healthy and ready in 10 minutes.
Guacamole is high in monounsaturated fats, which are the healthiest kinds of fats in the world and actually help your body get rid of bad fats. Half an avocado a day can have amazing health benefits, just be aware of the calories that quickly add up!

The 10 Minute Body GUACAMOLE

1 ripe avocado (cut in half, remove the stone and spoon out the flesh)
1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
1 clove of garlic (minced or chopped very finely)
1 ripe tomato (finely chopped)
1 lime (cut in half, squeeze all the juice out)
Fresh coriander (torn), to taste
Pinch of salt and pepper

HOW-TO:

Add all ingredients in a bowl, mix together by mashing the avocado with a fork. Enjoy with corn chips, in a wrap with chicken and salads or as a sandwich filler.

5 tips for a healthier life

Hiya,

I just sat down to wait for dinner to cook and decided to write this

I totally live by 'the 10 minute body' stuff as I can't be bothered to waste my time in the kitchen (despite the fact that I love cooking) or doing 2-hour-long workouts

So I've just done a 10 minute prep, it's my first time ever making MAKARONILAATIKKO in the oven, which is a Finnish dish that nearly everyone loves.

Directly translated it's macaroni casserole, and I filmed making it so you can see how to make it yourself on my YouTube channel later (you'll get a notification when I've uploaded it if you've subscribed... Unless I have majestically fucked it up and it turns out shit :D)

Today I wanted to remind you of 5 things that I know majorly helps you be healthier... Check 'em out and make sure to incorporate them into your lifestyle before this summer.

[Make sure to also start the summer challenge {if you haven't yet} to give you a bit more structure with food and at-home exercise]

 

1. Drink a lot of water. 2 litres a day is your absolute minimum.
2. Increase your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). This is ANY activity throughout the day that's not classed as exercise. What can you do to be a little bit more active tomorrow? Make sure to at least feel your core muscles activate when you're sitting down and standing up.
3. Focus on positive things, and stop negative self-talk. I hate fad dieting with a passion, because they destroy people's self esteems and just make most fatter in the long run. Stop punishing yourself and denying the foods you love eating. Doing it the freedom diet way makes eating anything possible, you just have to be within your personal calorie limits. Listen to this inspiring TED talk I also shared on Facebook.
4. Eat many different (natural) colours. Mixing different coloured veg in your diet makes your body get more vitamins and minerals. Ditch the vitamin tablets, get your nutrition from real food.
5. Make sure you know what it feels like to be hungry. I've spoken to so many overweight people who don't remember the last time they were hungry. Just plan your meals ahead of time so you know what you're having when you get hungry to avoid resorting to junk you don't need. Listening to your body is a key factor in learning what makes you feel good. Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're satisfied. There's an increasing amount of scientific evidence to suggest that letting yourself get hungry results in improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and also in better insulin sensitivity.

My food's nearly ready..... I'm excited to see if it's anything like the stuff I used to love at school!

Take action to be healthier TODAY.

Talk soon,
Erika

Lose weight easily with these swaps

Here's my quick list of simple food swaps that you can easily take advantage of, starting now.

What's crossed over is your TREATS - they should not be your everyday diet staples.

(There's nothing wrong with having them, but remember moderation. If you go for the crossed over options habitually, you've got some work to do.)

 

SO:

ONLY AS A TREAT - HAVE THIS INSTEAD

 

Cereal - nutty muesli (less sugar than fruit muesli), porridge with fruit, low sugar cereal (e.g. Weetabix), or go for a cooked breakfast of eggs, beans and brown toast.

Chocolate - have a glass of water, then eat a piece of fruit. You get natural sugars from fruit, which is far better than refined sugar from sweets and chocolate. If you still find yourself craving sweet, distract yourself by going out for a walk or doing housework.

Creamy sauces - tomato or vegetable based sauces

Fatty red meat like bacon and sausages, chicken thighs and wings - chicken breast, turkey breast, lean red meat. At least trim the fat off your bacon. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel you should still have!

Flavoured yoghurt - plain yoghurt (natural probiotic yoghurt/Greek yoghurt)  with fresh berries/fruit if you want sweetness in it

Main meal at a restaurant - go for a starter or a soup, or ask for a doggy bag if you're going for a main meal. Portion sizes in most restaurants are mahoosive, rarely under 1,000 kcal, so save half of it until later.

Dried fruit - fresh fruit. With dried fruit, you'll quickly have way too much sugar. It's still better than sweets, but the fresh stuff is the real thing.

Juice - water. If you really want a bit of sweetness in your water, infuse it with berries or lime/lemon

100% fruit juice - fresh fruit. Not only does it satisfy you more, you'll end up consuming fewer calories and getting much more fibre from the real thing.

Fizzy pop - sparkling water (infused with fruit, berries, cucumber, fresh mint leaves etc. if you like)

Latte/hot chocolate etc coffee shop high calorie drinks - swap for an espresso or an americano, and add a bit of milk yourself.

 

You can also consider whether you need to use oil in cooking. If you have a good teflon pan, chances are you don't. Or grill your meats, no added fats needed!

Note! Do not go for advertised diet products. Low fat items are often higher in sugar, low calorie meals won't keep you satisfied and will make you more likely to crave naughties, and just generally bear in mind that the flavour has to come from somewhere. Food manufacturers want to add as much (addictive) flavour to foods as possible so they can make more money when you buy their products again. Also, Artificial sweeteners are added to tons of processed foods, and some research suggests they're even worse for you than pure sugar, so do your best to steer away. Science has also shown that people who consume more artificial sweeteners and 'diet foods' are heavier than people who don't, so

focus on eating real, unprocessed food.

 

The best and worst breakfasts

People who have breakfast are slimmer on average: FACT

You need to have breakfast if you want to be fit and healthy: UNTRUE

Breakfast is just as important as any other meal during the day. You don'd need 5 meals a day, just have as many as suits your lifestyle. Just log your foods to make sure you're not overeating, i.e. putting on weight.

The most important thing to have in the morning: A pint of water.

The worst breakfast options:

  • Most cereals (too much sugar. Have a look at the ingredient list!)
  • Granola (packed with sugar)

Best breakfast options:

  • Eggs
  • High protein dairy (plain yoghurt/fromage frais/cottage cheese)
  • Porridge (if it keeps your hunger at bay... Also make sure your portion isn't too big)
  • Nutty muesli

My best tips to go by:

  • Always include a source of protein
  • Minimise sugar
  • Keep fat content in check

So

A full English wouldn't necessarily be a terrible option, but the super high fat content easily makes it exceed 1,000 kcals. So only have it if you're not intending to eat much else during the day to keep your waistline in control.

If you really don't feel hungry in the morning, you don't need to have breakfast. Just grab a pint of water and go, and eat when you get hungry.

High sugar breakfasts like most cereals do the most havoc to your diet. They're more likely to get you derailed with nutrition from the start and won't make you feel satisfied.

/Erika

P.s. In case you were wondering which cereals are nutritionally slightly better... My faves are Weetabix, Shredded Wheat and Shreddies. Purely because there's less added sugar. But I'd still personally rarely have cereal because the high carb and relatively low protein content makes my belly scream with hunger within an hour, and that's not great for insulin levels and makes silly snacking more likely.

My 5 top tips for building a healthier diet

I did personalised calorie & protein calculations for a young lady recently. She started using MyFitnessPal, and despite hitting her fat loss eating targets she's struggling to know where to start in terms of building a healthier, more sustainable overall diet instead of eating crap within her allowances. Both will make you lose weight, but of course it's better to focus on good quality nutrition to keep your body healthy and mind sharp. Now I know it's much more media attractive to promote a simple unsustainable shitty juice diet than make BALANCE an attractive idea. If you've done several diets in the past, you're used to being given specific rules on how to eat for a short period of time. Unfortunately, this is very rarely sustainable and the cold truth is that if you want to lose weight and keep it off for good, you have to work on finding your own balance with nutrition. A professional can help you build up good basics, but you must do the hard work of integrating the new habits into your lifestyle yourself.

Here's my top 5 tips on how to make the process as painless as possible:

  1. Eat only when you're hungry. Wait for it, and then really enjoy your food. Always have a healthy snack handy though (fruit/nuts/natural yoghurt/even just a glass of water), because the time when you're most likely to make bad choices with nutrition is towards the end of the day when you're tired and hungry. Kill off the biggest hunger whilst you're making a quick healthy meal.
  2. Focus on colours. The more colours you have in your diet, the more vitamins your body gets from the food you eat. Now obviously this doesn't include artificial colourings. Stock up on different coloured veg to get up to a great start, or have a side salad with your meal. If you're not a huge fan on veg, just chop it up small to hide it in great traditional dishes like spaghetti bolognese or various oven bakes. I tend to throw in onion, garlic, peppers, grated carrots and even celery for a great tasting, authentic spag bol.
  3. Eat from a small plate. This has all to do with your brain - research shows that if you eat the same amount of food from a small plate versus a larger plate, you'll be full sooner eating from the smaller plate. This is because your brain  will perceive that you've had more food  when you've finished off a full plate. If you're genuinely still hungry after finishing it, feel free to top up. Another related tip that can work wonders is to eat with a smaller fork, or even just a teaspoon.
  4. Focus on the positives. There are no foods you can't have if you're trying to lose weight. Your brain is very bad at processing negatives - if you tell yourself you "can't have chocolate", all your brain hears is "have chocolate". Traditional dieting - where you're only allowed certain types of foods - and not allowed others, is based on a deprivation mindset. This won't help you build long lasting habits. To build a sustainable healthy diet, you are in fact allowed anything you want, but you should learn to not want a lot of it. Just think about the reasons of why you want to eat it. To successfully maintain your dream weight, your diet should consist 80-90% of real foods and 10-20% of treats (this can be readily processed foods, chocolate, alcohol... whatever you fancy). When your overall diet is based on real, nutritious food, you'll feel fantastic and full of energy... So why would you want to ruin it with tons of junk? Remember, the first bite of your favourite foods/treats is always lovely.... And the experience doesn't increase on the 10th mouthful. You can learn to just have a bite of chocolate, not the whole bar at once.
  5. Balance out your macros. Try to find a balance with having all three types of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) in good proportion with every meal. Fats are highest in calories, so although you need fats to be healthy, you also want to be careful not to over consume them. For portion control, take a handful (not more) of carbs with each meal (that's pasta/rice/potatoes...) and limit added fats to a minimum. You'll get enough fats pretty much with any diet, so focus on foods that contain great quality fats like avocado or salmon. Also, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil a day has great health benefits, so you can make sure to top your side salad with that every day. Processed fats (transfats) are the worst and super unhealthy, as these are produced in factories just to make your processed food palatable. Most importantly, try to make sure to have protein (meat, dairy, eggs...) with every single meal of the day and you're off to a great start - it's also the macronutrient with the highest satiety factor, i.e. it'll make you feel full for the longest.

I hope these tips will help you build a healthier, sustainable diet that'll get you the body you deserve. Maybe you can share it with a friend to help them out too.

Peace out, love yourselves.

Erika xx

Warming omelette

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Here's what just went into the best omelette I've ever made:

- 2 yolks
- 4 egg whites
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Garlic (crushed & chopped)
- Jalopeño

~1 tbsp rapeseed oil on the pan. Salt & pepper (& chillies) for extra flavour whilst cooking.

.,Preparation time around 3 minutes (chop & mix)
.,Cooking time around the same, maybe a minute or two longer (medium heat)

This is a super healthy meal made quickly... About 350 kcal and plenty of protein to keep you satisfied for longer.

Make sure to use a non-stick pan. Flip in half when the egg is nearly solid (it'll continue cooking whilst serving).

If I was feeling naughty I'd add a bit of blue cheese inside..... yummmmmmmm

And always (when possible) serve with a side salad.

Enjoy!

/Erika

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Foodswaps 3: Turkey-avocado burger

I have discovered the wonderful world of burgers, which are neither fast-food junk or gourmet, but dripping of grease!

This low-fat turkey burger is a great weekend dinner: 498 kcal and 34.5g protein (but a lot depends on the ingredients you choose).

Ingredients:

  • 100g turkey steak
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1 gem lettuce
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tsp houmous
  • herbs and spices of your taste
  • 1 ciabatta roll

Preparation

  • Dry rub the turkey steak with your chosen herbs and spices (I like garlic salt, pepper, oregano and some chilli)
  • Grill it (I usually use a griddle pan)
  • Wash the gem lettuce and separate to leaves and slice the tomato
  • Toast your bun, spread with houmous
  • Assemble your burger: bun, lettuce leaves, tomatoes, turkey, avocado, bun
  • Make a Chef's salad from the lettuce and tomatoes (adding some spring onions and cucumber?) you could not fit into the burger
  • Always feel free to add more vegetables (maybe some cheeky mozzarella too ;))

Enjoy :)

 

Turkey-avocado burger
Turkey-avocado burger

 

EH&EH

Foodswaps 2: A different meatball soup!

I like soups unless they are thick, heavy and creamy - in my opinion, those are sauces!

This quick and easy meatball soup recipe will blow your mind: it's simple, healthy and unbelievably filling.

Only 245 kcal per portion packed with 28g of protein.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 200g lean beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • 20g of flour of your choice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 200g frozen vegetable mix (cauliflowers, carrots and peas)
  • 1 whole onion with the skin on
  • 2 celery sticks, whole
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 l water

Preparation:

  • Put the water in a saucepan on the hob to boil it
  • Mix the mince, egg, flour, garlic and some salt thoroughly, and form walnut-sized balls - the mixture will be enough for about 16 meatballs
  • Put the meatballs in boiling water. They are cooked when they float to the top.
  • Once the meatballs are cooked, add all the vegetables, spices and the stock cubes
  • Bring it to the boil, reduce the heat, cover it, and cook for 30 minutes
  • Serve it hot, maybe with some thin noodles

Tips:

  • Do not chop the onion - it is only needed for its taste, and it is easier to remove as a whole
  • When the meatballs cook there might be some foam floating on top of the water. It is only some cooked meat-juice. You can remove it with a very small strainer if you wish.
  • You can add other vegetables too. The variety of vegetables will make your soup taste even better!
  • This amount will make 2 very generous, or 3 normal portions.
  • It becomes even more tasty if you warm the leftover up the next day, however, it is not suitable for freezing.

Enjoy!

Meatball soup
Meatball soup

EH&EH

Foodswaps 1: Courgette Bolognese

Welcome to Foodswaps, where we present everyday favourites with a healthy twist, which are cheap and easy to cook.

The ingredient of the week is courgette (zucchini). Courgettes are very low on calories (only 27 kcal/100g), are filling and contain Vitamin A, which is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision!

Try our Courgette Bolognese - courgette gives richness to the sauce and you will need less pasta to fill up.

Courgette Bolognese Recipe

 

Sounds delicious! And you can use this sauce in a variety of forms! Serve it with:

  1. Pasta of your choice! Cook a handful according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Mix the sauce and the pasta, put in an ovenproof dish, put some fresh mozzarella cubes on top, bake it until the mozzarella turns golden brown, and there is your pasta bake.
  3. Believe it or not, this sauce is also excellent with rice.
  4. This sauce also makes a beautiful jacket potato filling - try sweet potatoes: tasty, healthy and exciting!
  5. If you have any left over (but why would you? :)) you can make a Subway-style sandwich from it. Carve out the fluffy inside of the baguette or bread bun of your choice and fill it with your sauce and grill it!

A portion of this sauce is only 276 kcal and contains 35g protein, and will only cost you about £2.50.

Courgette Bolognese stap by step

 

EH&EH

Fit as Hel members’ lunch

I took a few local Fit as Hel members out on a lunch last weekend. Jeannie and Khelda are also my 1-to-1 PT clients and Eniko does my gym classes every week. All of these ladies have come a long way on their fitness journeys since joining Fit as Hel -- and I can't thank them enough for their enthusiasm, activity and support in our online community.

I intentionally chose a buffet as our lunch destination - and cheekily wanted to see what kind of foods they'd go for. Personally, after eating two plates and a fruit dessert during the meal I didn't have to eat anything else for the rest of the day - just green tea and plenty of water. This way, when you listen to your body, you'll not get fat if your food choices are balanced also when eating out. I hoarded loads of protein (mainly chicken and eggs), some sushi, plenty of veg and drank water with the meal... And then had honey dew, apple, grapes and orange for dessert :-).

Eating in a buffet can be tricky and bad for the waistline. Fill your plate with different colours and drink water. Never eat at at a buffet late at night.
Eating in a buffet can be tricky and bad for the waistline. Fill your plate with different colours and drink plenty of water. Never eat at at a buffet late at night.
Jeannie and Khelda
Jeannie and Khelda
Erika Helsinki & Eniko
Erika Helsinki & Eniko

Everyone is welcome to join us on our next lunch together - this'll be in Gateshead 3rd March 2014 after a deadlift masterclass at the gym. Please get in touch if you'd like more details - see you all soon! :-)

Erika