Friday, 30 September 2016

Peach Porridge Cakes

This was definitely not the easiest recipe to devise. If you follow my Instagram then  you will have seen pictures of previous versions. I did start by using puréed fresh peaches but it just didn't work and the flavour was lost. I always prefer to work with fresh ingredients but in this case chopped up tinned peaches work best. 

150g tinned peaches (drained)
150g golden syrup
100g margarine
200g self raising flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
100g oats
250ml unsweetened almond milk 
1 egg

1. Beat the egg in a large bowl.
2. Add the golden syrup and margarine then stir well.
3. Stir in the flour, oats, baking powder and almond milk. Mix well until combined 
4. Chop the tinned peaches into small pieces

5. Carefully fold the peaches into the mixture and then stir gently so that they are distributed throughout the mixture 
6. Half fill 12 muffin cases with the mixture. You will find that the mixture is quite runny so it is easy to see the peach pieces. Make sure that every muffin case contains several pieces of peach.
7. Cook at the top of a preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops turn golden.
8. Allow to cool before removing

The recipe makes 12 cakes which are 148 calories each.

In case you are wondering, I called them Peach Porridge Cakes because of the combination of oats and almond milk in the recipe. That's how I make my porridge and the taste of the cakes reminded me of that. 

The little pieces of peach add a delicious sweet surprise when you bite into them.

I think they were worth the effort. Let me know if you try making them.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Creamy Salmon Pasta

I had some smoked salmon trimmings set aside for dinner last night and normally I would just throw them in a salad. I felt grotty and cold though so I fancied something hot and filling. This is what I came up with.

75g dried tagliatelle 
100g smoked salmon
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
100g green beans
100g low fat Creme fraiche
4 tablespoons water from the cooked pasta
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1. Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.
2. While the pasta cooks, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic
3. Using low fat cooking spray, gently fry the onion and garlic in a large pan for about 3 - 4 minutes until softened.
4. Top and tail the green beans and slice them into small sections.
5. Stir the beans into the pan and continue frying for about 3-4 minutes. Stir  as needed until the green beans start to brown. 
6. Once it is cooked, drain the pasta and set aside some of the pasta water. 
7. Chop the salmon into small pieces.
8. Return the pasta to the pan and stir in the Creme fraiche and smoked salmon until the pasta is fully coated.
9. Stir in the onion, garlic and beans.
10. Add 4 tablespoons of the pasta water and stir it in.
11. Add 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and stir.
12. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes and stir frequently.
13. Serve with the last tablespoon of Parmesan scattered on top.

The recipe is 597 calories so not one that I would eat every day. It's great though for days when you need something more filling or if you have had a particularly light lunch.

It definitely made a great change from a smoked salmon salad.

Let me know if you try making it. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 38 - Hanging On

So nothing lost and nothing gained this week. I'm not surprised really as it hasn't been a very good week.

If you read Monday's post then you will know that I was feeling thoroughly exhausted and overwhelmed so I wasn't working out. Things didn't really get any better from then on.

I work freelance from home so have to grab work while its there. At the moment there's masses and my finances are dire. I need to put food on the table this week so I'm surviving on four hours sleep and working like a Trojan. On top of this I can literally feel my mood sinking. I'm prone to depression so I need to be careful of this. In the old days I would have just dived headfirst into the biscuit tin and tried to eat my feelings along with all the food in the house, but I'm resisting. I'm back taking St John's Wort and am valiantly sticking to my healthy eating. I know the pressure will ease next week with maintenance payments from my ex husband so I've just got to hang on until then. I'm just trying not to put any additional pressure on myself.

I've always been an emotional eater and depression hits me periodically when there are situations I can't fix and control which is basically most of my life. I may do a post soon about the links between depression and overeating as it interests me and also may help me to understand my behaviour more.

Speak to you soon and if any of you are not having a great time this week either, remember "this too will pass".

Love Erica xxx


Monday, 26 September 2016

Monday Motivation - Don't Drain Yourself

I had a complete different Monday post worked out in my head for today but then I came home from the school run, stood in my kitchen and burst into tears.

I'm exhausted today. I had a hectic weekend where I literally didn't stop. My daughter ran in our County Cross Country relays on Saturday which meant an early start then walking the 3km course with her and then sprinting to various vantage points to cheer her on when she ran. We got home expecting to relax only for me to notice a hole in her Asics trainers. I had to beg money from my ex husband and then we sprinted to central London to go to the running shop Run & Become. She needs her trainers fitted properly as she over pronates and needs support for hyper mobility in her ankles. Even this journey wasn't straightforward due to train problems and we ended up having to travel on 4 different lines.

Sunday wasn't any more restful. There was another early start for cross country training then my daughter had to be dropped at a party. I had 2 hours at home before driving back to get her then it was dinner time and the whole getting stuff ready for school routine. I then had work to do which I finally finished at half one this morning.

It's not surprising that something snapped this morning. I had intended to run but I was so tired, my knee hurt and I have a cold coming. So I'm taking the day off. I need to sit and work for most of the day then my daughter has training this evening. I will try and fit in a relaxing bath somewhere and get to bed a little earlier.

So my Monday motivation today is not to lose sight of looking after myself. It's very easy to become fixated over weight loss and push yourself to breaking point but we all need to stay in tune with what our bodies are telling us. A day off never hurts.

Hope you are all having a great Monday and that you all look after yourself today. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Friday, 23 September 2016

Granola Cakes

I like to try and think outside the box sometimes when it comes to creating recipes especially when baking. This recipe worked really well and shows that granola doesn't have to be kept just for breakfast.

60g coconut oil
60g honey
1 egg
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g granola
200ml unsweetened almond milk

1. Mix together the coconut oil and honey.
2. Beat the egg and stir it into the mixture.
3. Add the flour, baking powder and the almond milk then stir until fully combined.
4 Gently fold the granola into the mixture making sure it is distributed throughout.
5. Place a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into cake cases do that they are about half full. I used muffin cases and a muffin tin.
6. Bake near the top of a preheated oven at 175 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
7. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

You can use any type of granola in this recipe. I just used a low calorie one that I found in Aldi.

You could even make your own granola if you prefer.

The granola cakes are 167 calories each but obviously this may vary depending on the granola that you use. Mine was 388 calories for the 100g needed in the recipe.

These are really filling little cakes. You can even treat them like scones, slice then in half and add some spread or even  jam. 

Let me know if you try making them and how they turn out! 

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 37 - Feeling Motivated

I lost another half pound this week, making it 28.5 pounds in total. 

It's been a good week so I am feeling motivated. I'm getting back into a definite fitness routine so I'm feeling happy about that. I'm still not getting enough sleep but that's been the case for about the last twenty years so I'll survive!!

I'm feeling positive about the week ahead too. I feel like I know what I'm doing and where I'm heading again. I've also got some great recipe ideas to try out and share with you. 

Hope you are all having a great day! Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Can Drinking More Water Help You Lose Weight?

The health benefits of drinking more water are well publicised but can this actually help you to lose weight? I was intrigued by the thought of this, particularly as I know I don't always drink enough water, so I did a little research. Here are my three top ways that drinking more water can help you to lose weight.

1. Fill you up
Try drinking a glass of water before each meal. You will find that this will make you feel fuller and you will be less likely to overeat. This can be particularly useful if you are eating out and you have less control over portion sizes. I've done this and it really does help!

2. Improved workouts
One of the benefits of keeping you body properly hydrated is that your joints will remain lubricated and you will find that you are less prone to muscle spasms and cramps. This will mean that you will be able to workout for longer and push your body harder. Obviously increased workouts over a period of time will increase the amount of weight that you lose.

3. Boost your metabolism 
There is medical evidence to support the theory that drinking cold water will help to give your metabolism a boost. For this to be effective, the water needs to be ice cold not just from the tap. The theory is that your body has to work that much harder in order to warm up the water and therefore will burn off more calories. We are not talking about huge numbers here but it all helps!

So this together with other benefits such as flushing out toxins and improving your skin means that we should all be looking to drink more water. I'm thinking of putting up a chart in my kitchen so I can monitor how much I drink. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Monday, 19 September 2016

Monday Motivation - Make Monday Marvellous!

So it's Monday again and I'm fed up and tired. My motivation is sadly lacking this morning so I've been lying here on my couch for the last ten minutes thinking what I can do about this.

My idea for today and for future Mondays is to try and make my Monday marvellous by doing something unexpected and unscheduled that's just for me. This could be anything simple like taking a bubble bath instead of just having a quick shower or taking an hour to read a book or buying a coffee out. 

Today I always planned to go for a run and normally I would then come back, jump in the shower and then switch my laptop on immediately to start work for the day (I work from home). Instead I am still going to run but when I come back, I'm going to do some yoga, which used to be a huge passion of mine, and then paint my toenails.

So see if you can do something to make your Monday marvellous today. Remember it doesn't have to be anything complicated or expensive, just pick something that you enjoy that is out of the ordinary for you to do on a Monday.Let me know what you choose. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Date Flapjacks

I love this recipe as it brings one of my obsessions, dates, together with my other obsession of flapjacks. 

1 banana
150g golden syrup
200g oats
100g dates

1. Mash the banana thoroughly 
2. Add the golden syrup and mix until combined.
3. I used chopped dates so I could just add them in. If you are using whole pitted dates then chop them into small pieces before adding to the mixture and then stir.
4. Add the oats and mix thoroughly until all of the oats are coated with the mixture and you have one fully combined sticky mix.
5. Grease an ovenproof dish or a shallow baking tray with edges.
6. Place the mixture into the dish and press down with the back of a spoon so that it is compact and there are no spaces.
7. Cook near the top of a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the top has turned golden.
8. Allow to cool completely before cutting into small squares.

The recipe makes 20 flapjacks which are only 50 calories each making them a perfect snack.

Hope you enjoy them if you try the recipe 

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 36 - Milestone

Finally I made it to 2 stone lost! 

It's taken me a while but I never set out to do this quickly. I've done the quick weight loss before and the weight has never stayed off. This time I am doing things differently. Slow and steady weight loss, educating myself about what my body needs, improving my fitness and being prepared to adjust to fit in with my life when needed such as for school holidays.

I'm proud that I have also coped with two injuries which basically stopped my fitness programme, particularly the Achilles' tendon injury. In spite of this, I never gave up.

I know that I still have a long way to go and quite a few stone left to lose. Celebrating the milestone of two stone lost today reassures me that I will suceed and I will be able to successfully carry on with this weight loss journey and achieve my goals. 

So here's to the next milestone! Speak to  you soon

Love Erica xxx

Monday, 12 September 2016

Monday Motivation- Don't Defeat Yourself

I had a big argument with myself on Friday. I was driving home after dropping my daughter to school. I had always planned to go for a run on Friday but by the time Friday arrived there were other things that had cropped up. I had a conference call for work at 10am, I needed to go shopping and my daughter was finishing school early so needed to be picked up at 2:05pm. 

My mind was just full of reasons not to run and I could feel me literally talking myself out of it. It took all my willpower to force myself to run but I did it. I also managed to get everything else done that I needed to do on Friday.

This made me think about how often I can be my own worse enemy. I can defeat myself before I even get started. So my Monday motivation this week is to stop listening to those negative voices in my head and to just get out there and do it!

I do overthink and fret about decisions and can be very negative about myself. It's something I know that I definitely need to work on.

Hope you are all having a fabulously motivated Monday. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Friday, 9 September 2016

Why you should visit Mercato Metropolitano

I love food shopping. There are few things that make me happier than wandering around a shop looking for tasty things to eat and new things to try. So when I heard about a new food market opening in London, I was excited to pay them a visit.

Mercato Metropolitano is an innovative market based in South London on the site of a disused paper factory.

It specialises in small artisan producers from across the UK and Italy. The range of food available was amazing.

There is an in house bakery

A fabulous range of cheeses

Fresh fruit and vegetables

And even an Italian supermarket

I loved that it was so spacious and well laid out. There was plenty of room to browse.

One of the most innovative features of Mercato Metropolitano is the eating space.

There is a host of stalls offering different meals. The pizza was particularly tempting

My eldest daughter preferred the pasta choices and loved the gnocchi samples that we tasted.

My youngest daughter was more interest in the ice cream stall

Or the desserts and pastries for sale.

Mercato Metropolitano have great plans for the future and you can find out more information about the market and their aims at

I definitely recommend a visit if you get the opportunity. We are planning to go back again and next time we will eat there too.

Speak to you soon 

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 35 - Back in Business

So it may only have been 1/4lb lost this week but I'm feeling good

It's my daughter's first full day back at school so it's day 1 of my revamped fitness programme. I started today with a run. It was hard but I was nearly 2 minutes faster than the last time I ran that route.

I find that working out really does lift my mood. After running I feel really up and positive today. I know that will help me make continual healthy choices in my diet too.

I'm aiming to run one more time before the weekend plus do some cardio workouts. The weekend will probably be rest days though as I'm ferrying my youngest daughter around plus transporting my eldest daughter back to university. So busy times!

Hope you are all have a great and positive Wednesday. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes

If you follow my Instagram them you will have seen the picture of these that I posted last week. They were really lovely so here's the recipe.

2 Beef Tomatoes 
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 red onion
50g cooked ham
100g low fat feta cheese

1. Slice the top off the tomatoes and put to one side
2. Scoop out the insides of the tomatoes being careful not to puncture the skin so that they look like this.

3. Finely chop the onion, ham and garlic.
4. Mix together the cheese, onion, ham and garlic. 
5. Carefully spoon the mixture into the tomatoes.

6. Put the top back on the tomato.

7. Put the tomatoes on a greased baking sheet.
8. Cook at 180 degrees in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes.

I served the tomatoes on a bed of lettuce but you could have them with couscous or rice instead.

The recipe makes two stuffed tomatoes but they are really filling and one would probably suffice. You could also swap the ham for bacon if you prefer.

The recipe is 386 calories which makes each stuffed tomato 193 calories.

This made a nice satisfying meal and one that I will definitely try again. Let me know if you try making them.

Speak to you soon 

Love Erica xxx

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