Friday, 6 February 2015

How many calories did you waste today?

So I admit this sounds a *little* harsh but as I looked at my diary for the day I realised I had wasted around 170 calories today (or about 20 minutes on the exercise bike).

This is not a huge number I will grant you but they did not add anything to my day or my energy levels.

What do I mean by wasted calories? The lightly flavoured water I had in Itsu with my lunch added 60 calories (sparking water would have been 0) and my skinny cappuccino at the BBC was around 110 (an Americano with milk would have been around 30).  I for one never count a treat such as a piece of cake as a waste.  I think the worst thing to do when losing weight or trying to be healthy is to totally deprive yourself of treats; it increases your propensity to binge and frankly just makes you miserable!

This all goes back to the concept that small changes make the difference. If I wasted 170 calories like that every day it would equate to about 1200 calories a week or about three brownies!  I would rather have the three brownies!

This infographic from the Daily Mail probably says it better than I do...

So, what do you tend to waste calories on? What are your tips for breaking the habit?

Monday, 2 February 2015

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Anyone who has been with me for a while will know that I am an enormous fan of Butternut Squash. I will make it into soup, put it into cakes and less successfully tried to make rosti with it.

My love of this vegetable goes beyond the fact it is so delicious and versatile.  It is high in vitamins A and B, it is low in calories and high in fibre.

This is a simple (but slow) recipe to make which is delicious, filling and healthy.

1 Butternut Squash
40g Cous Cous
1 Litre Vegetable Stock
1/2 Red Pepper
1 Onion
1 tbsp Tomato Purée
40g Cheddar Cheese


Pierce the skin and roast the butternut squash for 40 minutes at 200oC.

While this is in the oven, boil vegetable stock and cook cous cous.  Chop vegetables and mix into cous cous with tomato purée and cheese.

After 40 minutes remove the butternut squash, cut in half, scoop out seeds.  Scoop the majority of the butternut squash flesh out and mix in with cous cous mixture.

Place back in the oven and roast for another half an hour.

Serves 4.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Change three things

So, how are those New Years Resolutions going?

I noticed that the gym under my office was packed on Monday 5th and has been, let me put this politely, less so ever since.  In fairness my reset has hit a rock (no literally) as I've not been able to exercise for a week thanks to a run-in with the side of a mountain and another with a block of ice.  At least my diet was good?  Well it was until Thursday lunchtime.

This got me thinking about what I did differently last time when I lost weight.  It was running which really got the final bit of weight off, but there was a good six months before I took this up.

In truth, I made small changes, a few at a time.  These then became second nature and it all became that little bit easier.

So here are my three for January:

1. Myfitnesspal - it is not just using it, but using it constantly, even on those bad days.  This is the only way to keep sanity and not to kid yourself.  I know I am really good at thinking I've been good for a morning so that piece of chocolate or cake is ok and looking at that morning in total isolation from the rest of the week.  Myfitnesspal gives you that perspective, but only if you use it honestly!

2. Sparkling water - I rarely drink fizzy drinks, they are full of rubbish and do not hydrate you.  For me, sparking water makes me feel I am drinking a Coca-Cola style drink but I save the calories and rubbish.  I also try and have spritzers with soda in the pub - let's face it, pub wine is rubbish so watering it down makes little difference and again, the large glass has less calories.

3. Get off one stop earlier - getting off the bus or tube one or two stops earlier does not make you any more hungry but those extra steps do make an, albeit small, difference.

So what are your three tips?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

2014 (Hello!)

As any communications professional knows, regular posting is one of the keys to the success of any blog.  This is something which mine did not have in 2014 and frankly, I have missed it.

2014 was an odd one for me, as I alluded to in one of my few posts of the year.  I stuck my head back into the blogosphere in a short period during June when I felt myself, but in reality it took me until November to get truly back on my game.  I had spent a lot of 2013 chasing my tail and 2014 was my wake up call that this could not be sustained if I were to be healthy (not only in weight but in mind).

In this time I changed jobs (which has helped ALOT) but have also not managed to lose the weight I had hoped.  I have consumed far more wine than I should and have then spent a significant amount of time beating myself up over it.  I over committed myself in my spare time and subsequently maintaining two blogs and two twitter feeds was impossible.

Going forward I shall keep my blogs separate but I shall be consolidating my twitter feeds - you will find everything at (and my instagram will be @roisinmiller too).

I shall recommence healthy tips and trips henceforth.

It's good to be back xx

Monday, 16 June 2014

Warm Salad

Inspired by the features in the Waitrose Magazine, I trialled this warm salad this evening and I will be honest, it was even better than I expected. In the Waitrose magazine they use Roquefort not Feta cheese but I am not the biggest fab of Roquefort.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1/2 Large, mild onion
1 courgette
1/2 Aubergine
1 Leek
Puy Lentils
Feta Cheese
Olive Oil.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan, chop the onion and brown it off.

Use a potato peeler to make ribbons with the courgette and aubergine and add to the onion. 

Chop the leek and add it in. Add Puy Lentils.

Crumble Feta cheese over the top to serve.

This would also be good with artichoke and grated beetroot.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Getting back to fitness

2014 hasn't been one of my best so far in terms of fitness. 

At the end of 2013 I didn't fully fight off a bug and it has recurred ever since, wreaking havoc with my ability to train or have the energy to cook healthily. The result of this, plus a very very busy and stressful spell at work has been about 6kg weight gain. Reading about I have realised that weight increase again can be a very normal part of the battle to keep it down - weight off doesn't mean off for good. Taking your finger off the pulse for even a few months can undo years of work. And this is what has happened to me in part.

It was really starting to get me down. Clothes getting too tight, face shape changing. This is one of the worst things as it becomes even harder to motivate yourself. What is the point you think. I can't possibly run now. I decided it was enough with excuses and I could!

So, I have given myself a firm talking to, I have logged back into MyFitnessPal and I am on my way back down. I need to lose 10kg to get back to my recent smallest which may be a bit of a feat but 6kg - 12lbs?  BRING ON THE TRAINING!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Squash, courgette and lentil soup

Inspired by my visit to Local Hero in Kingston where sweet potato and courgette soup was the special of the day, I turned my hand to this.

Firstly my mistake; I had never tried a form of squash which wasn't butternut squash before and I bought a kabocha squash in waitrose thinking it might be easier to prepare than a butternut squash.  I was wrong. To the point where half the squash went to waste which was very unusual for me.

1/2 peeled kabocha squash
1 courgette
1/2 red onion
50g lentils
1 handful fresh coriander
1.5 litre vegetable stock 

Chop and boil the onion, courgette and squash in the vegetable stock.  Add the lentils and boil until soft. Add the coriander and blend.